include some of the most toxic compounds used in agriculture and
horticulture. Some European countries have legislated to reduce
their use. Methyl bromide, which is widely used as a soil sterilant
in horticulture in southern Europe, will be banned in 2005 because
of its ozone-depleting properties. There is an urgent need to
develop alternatives to the use of this fumigant for the control
of plant parasitic nematodes. The fungus Verticillium chlamydosporium
is widespread in cyst and root-knot nematode infested soils around
the world and parasitises the females and eggs of the nematode.
The fungus has considerable potential as a biological control
agent for root-knot nematodes, especially when it is applied in
combination with other control measures such as partially resistant
plants or nematicides. The project aims to evaluate the potential
of this fungus for the control of root-knot nematodes.
project will lead to the development of a sustainable strategy
for the management of root-knot nematodes in vegetable crops in
southern Europe and will evaluate an alternative to the use of
the soil fumigant, methyl bromide.
project provides a model for the practical application of a soil
applied biological control agent and the development of a rational
policy for such releases.
specific research objectives are to:
Evaluate the efficacy of the biomanagement strategy in commercial
production systems and to compare the control of root-knot populations
and crop yields with conventional control methods using methyl
bromide and with integrated procedures that combine the use of
the biological control agent, granular nematicides and crop rotation.
Develop methods to monitor the fungus after its release using
immunological and molecular techniques.
Measure the impact of the fungus on soil microbial diversity and
programme is innovative and will:
provide new microbiological techniques for studies of fungi in
develop a novel environmentally benign strategy for nematode control.
provide new information on the ecology and spread of biological
agents after their release in the field.
for the first time, establish a comprehensive dataset to assess
the practicality and risk assessment of a biomanagement strategy
for nematode pests.
project will lead to the development of non or low chemical methods
of nematode management which are more environmentally friendly
than existing methods and will lead to a reduction in inputs.
Thus it is in line with Article 3 of CAP Directive 91 414 and
COMDOC (93) 202 aimed at alternatives to the use of methyl bromide.
The environmental impact of the new strategies being developed
will be measured, but these rely on the exploitation of a natural
control agent which has proved environmentally benign. The project
aims to improve plant health and the quality of vegetable crops.
The new methods developed will be rigorously assessed for their
economic sustainability by the Steering Group.
fungus, Verticillium chlamydosporium has been found infecting
the eggs of root-knot nematodes in Italy, Portugal and Spain.
The isolates have been characterised biologically and genetically
and although there is much variation, similar isolates have been
found in all countries. Molecular markers that enable variation
in the fungus to be identified and the presence of the fungus
on roots to be monitored have been produced, along with monoclonal
antibodies to monitor fungal growth on roots. The fungus is compatible
with most agrochemicals used in horticultural production in southern
Europe and no detrimental effects have been observed on host plants
or beneficial organisms in the rhizosphere. The fungus in combination
with other control measures is being evaluated for control of
root-knot nematodes on vegetable crops in trials on commercial
holdings in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
+44 1582 76 31 33
+44 1582 76 09 81
- Manuel Galvao De Melo MOTA
Universidade de Evora
R. Dos Colegiais 2
Tel: +351 6 622 106
Fax: +351 6 671 12 31
- Maria Susana NEWTON DE ALMEIDA SANTOS
Universidade de Coimbra
Department de Zoologia
Largo Marques De Pombal
Tel: +351 3 934 729
Fax: +351 3 926 811
- Luis Vicente LOPEZ-LLORCA
Universidad de Alicante
Ctra. De San Vicente Del Raspeig S/N
Tel: +34 96 590 34 00
Fax: +34 96 590 38 15
- Soledad VERDEJO-LUCAS
Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentaries
Passeig De Gracia 44
Tel: +34 93 750 75 11
Fax: +34 93 753 39 54
- Aurelio CIANCIO
Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche
Piazzale Aldo Moro 7
Tel: +39 08 054 841 89
Fax: +39 08 054 841 65
- Emmanuel TZORTZAKAKIS
National Agricultural Research Foundation
Egialias 19 & Chalepa
GR-151 25 Maroussi
Tel: +30 812 409 86
Fax: +30 812 458 58