Esteya vermicola: a new endoparasitic hyphomycete affecting Bursaphelenchus xylophilus in Taiwan
In Taiwan, pine wilt disease, caused by Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (EPPO A1 quarantine pest), was first reported in 1985 in northern areas. It is now widespread and causes at least 50-60 % mortality on pines. During research carried out on the pathogenicity of B. xylophilus, a population recovered from a wilting pine was established on a sterile mycelial culture (on PDA growing medium). Unexpectedly, this population of nematodes was drastically reduced after 2-4 weeks incubation at room temperature. Examination of dead nematodes revealed the presence of an unknown endoparasitic hyphomycete. This fungus was described as a new genus and species: Esteya vermicola. The authors noted that Esteya vermicola shows a very high infectivity, as a population of B. xylophilus can be killed in 8-10 days in vitro. They felt that further studies are needed to verify the potential which Esteya vermicola may present for biological control.
Liou, J.Y.; Shih, J.Y.; Tzean, S.S. (1999) Esteya, a new nematophagous genus from Taiwan, attacking the pinewood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus).
Mycological Research, 103(2), 242-248.