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Parasitic Fungi, Soil Moisture and Multiplication of the Cereal Cyst Nematode, Heterodera a Venae

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When soil infested with Heterodera avenae was drenched with formalin 2 wks or more before planting, more females survived on cereal roots and numbers of eggs/g soil increased. This was due to the control of fungi parasitic on the females, especially Nematophthora gynophila. Drier conditions produced by watering less generously decreased the degree of parasitism probably because the movement of zoospores was inhibited. When fungi were controlled by formalin, increased watering did not influence nematode numbers nor did numbers increase when formalin was applied to soil where the fungi were few or absent. These results demonstrate that parasitic fungi are the major factor limiting the multiplication of the cereal cyst-nematode.

Affiliations: 1: Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, Herts., England


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