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A Method for Assessing the Natural Control of Cyst Nematode Populations

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image of Nematologica
For more content, see Nematology.

A method is described for assessing the ability of a soil to suppress multiplication of the beet cyst nematode and for isolating the fungal parasites involved. Using triangular-shaped observation chambers with removable sides, continual assessments were made of the numbers of females and new cysts developing on sugar beet roots on two sides of the chamber. Females were removed from the third side of each chamber to assess the numbers infected and to isolate the fungi from them. Eight soils with varying histories of cropping with sugar beet were tested. In suppressive soils the numbers of females declined during the experimental period, whilst in non-suppressive soils the numbers of females steadily increased. The numbers of healthy females surviving at the end of the experimental period, expressed as a percentage of the maximum number of females produced, gave a comparative measure of suppressiveness of the eight soils. Cylindrocarpon destructans was the fungus isolated most commonly from infected females.

Affiliations: 1: Rothamstcd Experimental Station, Harpenden, Herts., England, AL5 2JQ


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