control and genetic change
MORE radical methods of controlling nematodes were also aired at the conference.
Brian Kerry of IACR-Rothamsted explains that some bacteria are thought to affect root secretions, making them less attractive to nematodes. Toxin production and induced resistance may also play a part.
Certain Verticillium fungi which colonise root surfaces also switch to nematode parasitism. Identifying the most virulent types and understanding why they attack nematode eggs will help scientists select candidates.
A strategy to use this fungus to control root-knot nematodes in vegetable crops has been devised and is being tried.
Nematodes could also soon be controlled by genetically-modified plants, says Lieve Gheysen of the University of Ghent in Belgium.
Either nematode toxins derived from naturally-occurring fungi or bacteria could be used. *