Processors and Growers Research Organisation

Management of the stem and bulb nematode (Ditylenchus spp.) in winter beans (Vicia faba L) using biofumigant Brassica spp. and other allelopathic cover crops

Stem and bulb nematodes (Ditylenchus dipsaci sensu stricto and D. gigas) are significant pests of field beans causing swelling and stunting of stems. Yield reductions of up to 68% have been recorded previously, whilst infected seed can result in the seed being excluded for use in cultivation or further processing for human consumption. Management of these pests is challenging, and in the UK, mainly relies on the cultivation of non-host species (crop rotation) since the use of nematicides is generally considered to be problematic and not economically viable. 

Biofumigation is the suppression of soil borne pests, pathogens and weeds by biocidal compounds (principally isothiocynates) released in soils when glucosinolates (GSLs) in brassica plant residues are hydrolysed (the compound is ‘broken down’ with the addition of water) by the enzyme myrosinase. Practically, biofumigation is achieved by growing brassica cover crops such as Indian/brown mustard (Brassica juncea) and oilseed radish (Raphanus sativus), typically for a period of 10-14 weeks if grown during the summer months.  

The aim of this study is to investigate the use of biofumigant plants for the management of stem and bulb nematode infestations in winter beans. Additionally, the study will consider the use of other cover crops with potential allelopathic activity.

The full thesis can be accessed here >





Harper Adams University, Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO), RAGT Seeds and J. Joordens Zaadhandel B.V



Nasamu Bawa Musa - Harper Adams University, Edgmond, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NB

Start Date: June 2017

Duration of study: 3 years