Author(s): Sharon E, BarEyal M, Chet I, HerreraEstrella A, Kleifeld O,
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Abstract ABSTRACT The fungal biocontrol agent, Trichoderma harzianum, was evaluated for its potential to control the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica. In greenhouse experiments, root galling was reduced and top fresh weight increased in nematode-infected tomatoes following soil pretreatment with Trichoderma peat-bran preparations. The use of a proteinase Prb1-transformed line (P-2) that contains multiple copies of this gene improved biocontrol activity in the greenhouse experiments compared with the nontransformed wild-type strain (WT). All the Trichoderma strains showed the ability to colonize M. javanica-separated eggs and second-stage juveniles (J2) in sterile in vitro assays, whereas P-2 also penetrated the egg masses. This protease-transformed line presented the same nematicidal and overall proteolytic activity as the WT in in vitro tests in which concentrated soil extracts from Trichoderma-treated soils immobilized the infective J2. However, the J2 immobilization and proteolytic activities of both P-2 and the WT were higher than those obtained with strain T-203. Characterization of the activity of all Trichoderma strains soil extracts on J2 showed that it was heat resistant and restricted to the low-molecular-weight fraction (less than 3 kDa). It is suggested that improved proteolytic activity of the antagonist may be important for the biological control of the nematodes.
This article was published in Phytopathology
and referenced in Journal of Agricultural Science and Food Research