Fungal parasitism of the cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii: infection and enzymatic activity

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Fungal egg parasites isolated from eggs of the cyst nematode Heterodera avenae in Sweden were investigated with respect to their ability to infect cyst nematode eggs of H. schachtii in vitro. The infection was studied by interference phase contrast microscopy of whole cysts and of cryosections of cysts exposed to the fungi on agar plates. Verticillium suchlasporium was the most effective parasite, infecting 53% of the nematode eggs, while V. chlamydosporium infected 12% of the eggs. The fungi Paecilomyces lilacinus, Cylindrocarpon destructans or Fusarium oxysporum did not parasitize nematode eggs; nor did Arthrobotrys oligospora, a nematode trapping fungus nor Penicillium viridicatum which served as a control fungus. The ability of the fungi to infect eggs was correlated with their lytic enzyme activity. Fungi that readily infected eggs also showed chitinase activity and presence of proteolytic activity. The Verticillium species had an activity between 3.7 and 14.6 μmol N-acetyl-glucosamine per mg protein per hour (CU) while it was 4.5 CU or lower for P. lilacinus. Other isolates did not shown any chitinase activity. © 1989.




Dackman, C., Chet, I., & Nordbring-Hertz, B. (1989). Fungal parasitism of the cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii: infection and enzymatic activity. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 62(3), 201–208.

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