Idowu Rotifa

PhD Title

Novel approaches for the management of leaf and bud nematodes (Aphelenchoides spp) in hardy nursery stock

PhD Supervisors


Foliar nematodes, also called leaf and bud nematodes (LBN), Aphelenchoides spp. are microscopic roundworms that live in leaf tissue and cause significant injury to many ornamental plants. Nematodes in the genus Aphelenchoides occur commonly throughout the world. In the UK, Aphelenchoides ritzemabosi and Aphelenchoides fragariae are the two main foliar nematode species of economic importance. There are over 700 associated host species of LBN from at least 85 different plant families that include herbaceous, ferns and woody plants. They are economically important pests in the ornamental industry causing damage on a broad range of landscape and nursery-grown herbaceous and woody perennials. Subsequent damage from a LBN infestation can make a plant unmarketable causing significant economic losses for growers. Furthermore, once present in a nursery it is a challenging pest to eradicate due to its transmission being facilitated by overhead irrigation.

Foliar nematodes are becoming more important because of the revocation and subsequent loss of systemic nematicides, increased nursery production of these vegetatively propagated plants and long distance movement of plants. A commonly used method of control now is cultural control.

Currently the only effective nematicide against this pest in the UK is Vydate 10G (oxamyl). However, not all growers wish to use oxamyl as it is not compatible with biological control agents used for other pests within Integrated Pest Management programmes.

This study aims to develop new approaches for the management of these nematodes in hardy nursery stock by evaluating individually, and in combination, products derived from plant extracts, currently approved pesticides, and ‘elicitors’ of natural defences in plants. The approach to be undertaken will target three distinct phases of nematodes infection: movement from soil to plant; movement within plant; and induction of plant resistance to infection and nematode multiplication within the plant. The overall objective of this project will be to develop refined guidelines for the integrated management of foliar nematodes in hardy nursery stock utilizing existing and novel methods. The project is funded by the Horticultural Development Company (HDC).

My research interests include integrated pest management with emphasis on crop pest protection contributing to global food security.

Idowu Rotifa

PhD Student

Address: Crop & Soils Systems, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 01315354197