Mechanism of nematode infection by fungal antagonists, Purpureocillium lilacinum (Thom) Samson and Pochonia chlamydosporia (Goddard) Zare & Gams 2001



Plant parasitic nematodes are one of the major limiting factors in crop production. Root knot nematodes,
Meloidogyne spp. have a wide host range and higher fecundity. Purpureocillium lilacinum and Pochonia chlamydosporia
are beneficial fungi that parasitizes the eggs of root knot nematodes. Commercial formulations of these fungi are available in
India and elsewhere. An in vivo study was carried out to understand the mode of action of these fungi. Conidial suspension
of both P. lilacinum (isolate TNAU-Pl001) and P. chlamydosporia (isolate TNAU-Pc001) were prepared and inoculated on
the egg masses. Fungal hyphae started attaching on the egg surface on the 1st day after inoculation. Mycelial penetration on
egg shell was initiated by approsorium formation on the 2nd day and eggs were completely colonized by the 4th day after
inoculation. Egg contents were condensed and development stopped at gastrula stage itself. The phialids were flask shaped
which formed on the 7th day after inoculation. In P. chlamydosporia, the infection process was similar to P. lilacinum,
except for the formation of chlamydospores which was observed both intercalary and terminal. Chlamydospores were observed
10-12 days after inoculation. The endophytic nature of P. chlamydosporia was also observed in paddy roots.

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