Biological control of plant pathogenic nematodes by the fungus Clonostachys rosea

Last changed: 15 January 2021

The goal of this project was to test the potential for control of plant pathogenic nematodes by the fungus Clonostachys rosea, and to investigate the possible mechanisms for antagonism.

Nematode problems are present in a number of agricultural and horticultural crops, such as small grains, potatoes, sugar beet, carrots, parsley, root celery, legumes, strawberries and fruit trees. Several opportunistic mycoparasitic fungi such as Clonostachys spp. and Trichoderma spp. are successfully employed as biological control agents against fungal diseases of plants, and have a potential use also against nematodes.

We hypothesize that C. rosea can antagonize and reduce populations of plant pathogenic nematodes through secretion of nematicidal metabolites and enzymes, resulting in alleviation of disease symptoms. C. rosea antagonism towards three selected species of plant pathogenic nematodes will be assessed using pot and microtiter plate assays, while mechanisms of interaction will be studied using transcriptomics, metabolomics and genetic transformation techniques. This project will increase the feasibility of biological control on nematode pests through specific fungal agents, which is compatible with principles of integrated pest management and organic farming.


Project leader and contact person:  Magnus Karlsson (SLU Uppsala)

ResearchersMaria Viketoft (SLU Uppsala), Mukesh Dubey (SLU Uppsala), Abigail Walter (SLU Alnarp 2015-2016) and Dan Funck Jensen (SLU Uppsala)

Cooperation with: Anders Broberg (SLU Uppsala)

Project duration: September 2015 – August 2018

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