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Greenhouse experiments with two susceptible hosts of Meloidogyne incognita, a dwarf tomato and wheat, led to the identification of a soil in which the root-knot nematode population was reduced 5- to 16-fold compared to identical but pasteurized soil two months after infestation with 280 M. incognita J2/100 cm(3) soil. This suppressive soil was subjected to various temperature, fumigation and dilution treatments, planted with tomato, and infested with 1,000 eggs of M. incognita/100 cm(3) soil. Eight weeks after nematode infestation, distinct differences in nematode population densities were observed among the soil treatments, suggesting the suppressiveness had a biological nature. A fungal rRNA gene analysis (OFRG) performed on M. incognita egg masses collected at the end of the greenhouse experiments identified 11 fungal phylotypes, several of which exhibited associations with one or more of the nematode population density measurements (egg masses, eggs or J2). The phylotype containing rRNA genes with high sequence identity to Pochonia chlamydosporia exhibited the strongest negative associations. The negative correlation between the densities of the P. chlamydosporia genes and the nematodes was corroborated by an analysis using a P. chlamydosporia-selective qPCR assay.
PMID: 19259527 [PubMed - in process]