Host specificity of Ditylenchus phyllobius, a potential biological control agent of silver-leaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav.) in Australia

R.P. Field, R.M. Kwong and J.-L. Sagliocco, Victorian Department of Primary Industries, PO Box 48, Frankston, Victoria 3199, Australia.


The leaf-galling nematode, Ditylenchus phyllobius was screened against 118 taxa of plants in host specificity tests to determine its suitability as a biological control agent of silver-leaf nightshade, Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav. in Australia. Only species in the genus Solanum and from the Sections Oliganthes and Melongena appeared to be suitable hosts for the nematode. No representatives screened from the Sections Solanum, Dulcamara, Jasminosolanum, Archaesolanum, Brevantherum, Pseudocapsica, Androceras, Graciliflorum or Petota were galled. As the nematode produced galls on 13 native Solanum species and 13 of 15 S. melongena (eggplant) cultivars tested, the lack of adequate specificity of D. phyllobius makes this nematode an unsuitable agent for release in Australia.

Key words: Ditylenchus phyllobius, Solanum elaeagnifolium, biological control, eggplant.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2009) 24 (4) 141-145.