Identification of Fungi Associated with Rotylenchulus Reniformis

Juan D. Castillo, Kathy S. Lawrence, Gareth Morgan-Jones, Camilo A. Ramirez


The objective of this work was to isolate and identify fungi associated with R. reniformis in cotton roots. Soil samples were collected in cotton fields naturally infested with R. reniformis and from cotton stock plants cultured in the greenhouse. Nematodes extracted from the soil were observed under the stereoscope, and discolored eggs and vermiform stages colonized with mycelia were cultured on 1.5% water agar supplemented with antibiotics, and incubated at 27°C. Identification of the nematophagous fungi was based on the morphological characters, and the ITS regions and 5.8S rDNA amplified by PCR using the primers ITS1 and ITS4. The parasitism percentage on vermiform nematodes from greenhouse samples was 21.2%, and the percentages from cotton fields in Limestone, Henry, and Baldwin counties in Alabama were 3%, 23.2%, and 5.6%, respectively. A total of 12 fungi were identified from R. reniformis vermiform stages and eggs. The most frequently isolated fungi were Arthrobotrys dactyloides (46%) and Paecilomyces lilacinus (14%), followed by Phoma exigua (4.8%), Penicillium waksmanii and Dactylaria brochophaga (3.6%), Aspergillus glaucus group (2.4%). Cladosporium herbarum, Cladosporium cladiosporioides, Fusarium oxysporum, Torula herbarum, Aspergillus fumigatus, and an unidentified basidiomycete were less frequent (1.2%). A high percentage (16.8%) of fungi from colonized nematodes was not cultivable on our media. Out of those 12 fungi, only four have been previously reported as nematophagous fungi: three isolates of Arthrobotrys dactyloides, and one isolate of Dactylaria brochopaga, Paecilomyces lilacinus, and Fusarium oxysporum. Molecular identification of Arthrobotrys dactyloides and Dactylaria brochopaga was consistent with the morphological identification, placing these two fungi in the new genus Drechslerella as proposed in the new Orbilaceae classification.

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