Effects of plants containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids on the northern root-knot nematode Meloidogyne hapla
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1,2-Dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), known to be nematotoxic in vitro, represent a class of secondary plant metabolites from hundreds of plant species worldwide. Pot experiments with the commercially available PA-containing plants Ageratum houstonianum, Borago officinalis, Senecio bicolor, and Symphytum officinalis demonstrate that Meloidogyne hapla is not per se repelled by these plants as all species were infested with nematodes. However, the development of M. hapla juveniles was completely suppressed on A. houstonianum and S. bicolor. Soil in which A. houstonianum and S. bicolor were cultivated and incorporated contained 200–400 times less nematodes than soil treated with Lycopersicon esculentum. Depending on their qualitative composition of PAs at least some of these plants thus appear to be valuable tools for integrated root-knot nematode management.
KeywordsBiological control Integrated pest management (IPM) Secondary plant metabolites Soil amendment Green manure Botanicals Crotalaria spp.
pyrrolizidine alkaloids = 1,2-dehydropyrrolizidines
We are most grateful to Tim Burzlaff and John Edgar for their valuable contributions, to R.I. Vane-Wright for critical revision of the English, to the staff of both the Forstzoologisches Institut and the Julius Kühn-Institut für Kulturpflanzen for technical assistance and to the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt for financial support. Further, we would like to thank S. Schlag for advice on statistical questions.
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