Fungi and bacteria associated to phytoparasitic nematodes Globodera rostochiensis and Meloidogyne spp. in Algeria were identified and characterized. Trichoderma spp. showed the highest prevalence in the cysts of G. rostochiensis. A number of isolates were identified through PCR amplification and the sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS)1-2 and Rpb2 gene regions. The most represented species were T. harzianum and T. afroharzianum. The latter and T. hirsutum were reported for the first time in Algeria. Fusarium spp., including F. oxysporum and F. solani, comprised a second group of fungi found in cysts. Taxa associated to females of Meloidogyne spp. included T. harzianum, Fusarium spp. and other hyphomycetes. To assess the efficacy of Trichoderma spp., two assays were carried out in vitro with the culture filtrates of two T. afroharzianum and T. harzianum isolates, to check their toxicity versus the second stage juveniles of M. incognita. After 24-48 h exposure, a mortality significantly higher than the control was observed for both filtrates at 1% dilutions. The TRI genes involved in the production of trichothecenes were also amplified with the PCR from some Trichoderma spp. isolates and sequenced, supporting a putative role in nematode toxicity. Bacteria isolated from the cysts of G. rostochiensis included Brucella, Rhizobium, Stenotrophomonas and Bacillus spp., identified through 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The potential of the microbial isolates identified and their mechanisms of action are discussed, as part of a sustainable nematode management strategy.
Keywords: Fusarium; Globodera rostochiensis; Meloidogyne; TRI gene; Trichoderma; biocontrol; trichothecenes.