Natural fungus may fight PCN

A naturally occurring fungus could be used to help fight off potato cyst nematodes (PCN).

Field experiments carried out by Harper Adams University College and BioNem - which specialises in natural nematode control - at the university's Crop & Environment Research Centre have shown that the fungus Pochonia chlamydosporia works as a biological control agent - reducing nematode reproduction by attacking female nematodes on roots.

The fungus proved as effective as the nematicide fosthiazate and, according to nematologist Dr Pat Heydock, it could be used as part of an integrated PCN management strategy. Heydock said further funding was needed to help the research team develop a commercial product. "We have proved that it works - now we are seeking industrial collaboration to develop it as a commercial product."


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