A method to evaluate relative ovicidal effects of soil microfungi on thick-shelled eggs of animal-parasitic nematodes

Biocontrol Science and Technology, Taylor & Francis, ISSN 1360-0478

Volume 25, 7, 2015

DOI:10.1080/09583157.2015.1016396, Dimensions: pub.1007663786,



  1. (1) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU






Thick-shelled eggs of animal-parasitic ascarid nematodes can survive and remain infective in the environment for years. The present study evaluated a simple in vitro method and evaluation scheme to assess the relative effect of two species of soil microfungi, Pochonia chlamydosporia Biotype 10 and Purpureocillium lilacinum Strain 251 (Ascomycota: Hypocreales), on the development and survival of eggs of faecal origin of three ascarid species, Ascaridia galli (chicken roundworm), Toxocara canis (canine roundworm) and Ascaris suum (pig roundworm). Ascarid eggs were embryonated on water agar with or without a fungus, and the resulting viability of the eggs was evaluated on days 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42 post exposure (pe) by observing eggs in situ. On days 7–42 pe, P. chlamydosporia had reduced the viability of A. galli and T. canis eggs by 64–86% and 26–67%. Corresponding reductions for P. lilacinum Strain 251 were only 15–29% and 4–28%. In contrast, A. suum eggs were extremely resistant to both fungi (2–4% reduction). The differences in results are likely due to different morphologies and chemistry of the egg shell of the three ascarid species. The current in vitro method and evaluation criteria allow for a simple, repeatable and non-invasive evaluation of the ovicidal effects of microfungi. This study demonstrates that P. chlamydosporia Biotype 10 may be utilised as a biocontrol agent to reduce A. galli and T. canis egg contamination of the environment.


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