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Identification of a Selective Nematicidal Component in Extracts of Plant Residues Decomposing in Soil

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For more content, see Nematology.

Extracts obtained from rye (Secale cereale) and timothy (Phleum pratense) plant residues decomposing in soil under laboratory and field conditions were tested and found to be selectively nematicidal to two species of plant parasitic nematodes, Meloidogyne incognita and Pratylenchus penetrans. They were non-toxic to saprophytic nematode species when used at similar concentrations. By means of chromatographic and nematode bioassay techniques some of the nematicidal components in the extracts were isolated. One of these was identified as butyric acid. Chemical behavior and nematicidal activity of chemically pure butyric acid and that isolated from the decomposing plant residues were compared and found to be identical. Butyric acid and residue extracts were nematicidal only in the pH range of 4.0 to 5.3. Significance of these results to biological control of plant parasitic nematodes in the field is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Research Station, Research Branch, Canada Department of Agriculture, Harrow, Ontario


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