Effect of Pochonia chlamydosporia-based formulates on the regulation of root-knot nematodes and plant growth response
EU legislation restricted many chemicals for root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp., RKNs) control. Alternative ways of plant protection were hence investigated, based on the use of microbial formulations exploiting plant parasites antagonism. RKNs are severe and widespread pests causing extensive damage to crops in greenhouse and field. Several antagonistic microorganisms are suitable for biocontrol, including the nematophagous hyphomycete Pochonia chlamydosporia that parasitizes eggs to acquire additional nourishment and face competition with other soil microorganisms.
A commercial product (POCHAR) was developed by Microspore based on P. chlamydosporia with other microbial inocula that can be applied through irrigation. The aim of this study was to test POCHAR’s efficacy against RKNs on potato and its promotion effect on tomato in two field trials. Moreover, the research included trials to evaluate the best method for open-field application in crops not managed through drip irrigation, opening up the possibility to treat large areas without major technological needs.
RKNs control with POCHAR represented a viable alternative to chemicals. In conclusion, the organic approach developed through the bioformulated product highlighted effective RKNs management, with a potential to sustain both plant nutrition and the related root protection needs.