PACE Turf - Turfgrass Information Center

Research on biorationals for control of nematodes

Nematodes are causing increasing problems on golf course greens (read more here), and, with the cancellation of Nemacur (fenamiphos), there are few effective products available for their control. For this reason, we conducted a field study on the efficacy of several different biological control agents for control of nematodes — particularly the root knot nematode, Meloidogyne. We found that:

  • An experimental product based on the beneficial bacterium Bacillus firmus had the best results, causing significant reductions in root knot nematodes (RKN) without any associated phytotoxicity
  • The amino acid methionine also caused reductions in RKN, but also caused significant damage to bentgrass at the rate tested
  • The other products tested included Biofence, which is based on ground mustard plant tissue) and Inoculaid (a mixture of beneficial bacteria). Neither of these products had an impact on nematode populations

Bottom line: Bacillus firmus, which has been shown in previous studies to have potential as a nematicidal agent, showed promise in this trial for control of root knot nematode. Further work is needed to confirm this, and to identify optimal use patterns. This product, which is under development at Bayer Environmental Sciences, is not yet available for sale, but if research continues to confirm its promise, we hope expect to see it made available very soon.

Project title: Biorational products for nematode control

Principal investigators: Larry Stowell, Ph.D., CPAg and Wendy Gelernter, Ph.D., PACE Turf LLC and Michael McClure, Ph.D., University of Arizona

Cooperator: Troy Mullane, Rancho Santa Fe Farms Golf Club, Rancho SAnta Fe, CA

Sponsor: PACE Turf LLC

Click here for the full report (206 KB pdf)

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