Interview: Biological control of nematodes

Portal Agrolink exclusively interviewed Deraldo Horn, marketing manager at Simbiose, about Nemacontrol, the first Brazilian technology for the biological control of nematodes. He explains the importance of adopting biological products, as well as Nemacontrol's mechanism of action and the economic viability of this type of control.

Agrolink – How important is it to have biological technology to control nematodes?

Deraldo Horn, Simbiosis – With the expansion of the agricultural area, new problems emerged, including diseases caused by nematodes. We still do not have efficient chemical control or cultivars resistant to this disease and the geographic distribution is wide, parasitizing several crops such as soybeans, oats, corn, millet, sunflower, sugar cane, cotton, peanuts and some green manures. 

The species that attack these crops are gall-forming (Meloidogyne spp.), cyst-forming (Heterodera glycines), reniform (Rotylenchulus reniformis) and root lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus brachyurus) – which is the most important group of nematodes in agriculture. . With biological technology we are able to protect the root system throughout the crop cycle, preventing nematodes from attacking the root system, thereby preventing the entry of other root diseases.

Agrolink – What is Nemacontrol’s mechanism of action?

 

Deraldo Horn, Simbiosis – NemaControl is formulated from the bacteria Bacillus amyloliquefaciens. When inoculated into the seed or applied via the planting furrow, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens will colonize the plant's root system, feeding on the root exudates. When colonization occurs, the bacteria synthesize, that is, produce several toxins and antibiotics that will be released into the soil, forming a protective layer around the plant's root system.

Nematodes are chemically guided to the root through chemical recognition of exudates. Thus, due to B. amyloliquefacies modifying the chemical characteristics in the rhizosphere region, nematodes are unable to recognize root exudates, thus inhibiting nematode penetration into the roots. Furthermore, when antibiotics and toxins produced by B. amyloliquefaciens come into contact with nematode eggs present close to the root system, they penetrate the eggs, killing the nematode embryo.

Another characteristic of B. amyloliquefaciens is that it promotes plant growth due to its ability to synthesize organic molecules with hormonal effects (auxin, gibberellin and cytokinin). Furthermore, NemaControl also acts to activate the secondary metabolism of plants, that is, it is an inducer of systemic resistance, thus improving plant defense.

Agrolink – Is investment in biological control economically favorable for the producer?

Deraldo Horn, Simbiosis – Biological products are formulated using control agents isolated in nature, which do not harm the environment. Furthermore, these pest control technologies have a better cost/benefit ratio when compared to some conventional pesticides, resulting in financial benefits for the producer.
 

 Source: Agrolink
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