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Summary

Enhancement of the resistance level in plants by rhizobacteria has been proven in several pathosystems. This study investigated the ability of four rhizobacteria strains (Pseudomonas putida BTP1 and Bacillus subtilis Bs2500, Bs2504 and Bs2508) to promote the growth in three barley genotypes and protect them against Cochliobolus sativus. Our results demonstrated that all tested rhizobacteria strains had a protective effect on barley genotypes Arabi Abiad, Banteng and WI2291. However, P. putida BTP1 and B. subtilis Bs2508 strains were the most effective as they reduced disease incidence by 53 and 38% (mean effect), respectively. On the other hand, there were significant differences among the rhizobacteria-treated genotypes on plant growth parameters, such as wet weight, dry weight, plant height and number of leaves. Pseudomonas putida BTP1 strain was the most effective as it significantly increased plant growth by 15-32%. In addition, the susceptible genotypes Arabi Abiad and WI2291 were the most responsive to rhizobacteria. This means that these genotypes have a high potential for increase of their resistance against the pathogen and enhancement of plant growth after the application of rhizobacteria. Consequently, barley seed treatment with the tested rhizobacteria could be considered as an effective biocontrol method against C. sativus.

Summary

This study aims to develop a biocontrol agent against Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. radicis-lycopersici (FORL) in tomato. For this, a set of 23 bacterial endophytic isolates has been screened for their ability to inhibit in vitro the growth of FORL using the dual plate assay. Three isolates with the most sound antagonistic activity to FORL have been qualitatively screened for siderophore production, phosphates solubilization and indolic acetic acid (IAA) synthesis as growth promotion traits. Antagonistic values of the three candidates against FORL were respectively: 51.51 % (EB4B), 51.18 % (EB22K) and 41.40 % (EB2A). Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, the isolates EB4B and EB22K were closely related to Enterobacter ludwigii EN-119, while the strain EB2A has been assigned to Leclercia adecarboxylata NBRC 102595. The promotion of tomato growth has been assessed in vitro using the strains EB2A, EB4B and EB22K in presence of the phytopathogen FORL. The treatments with the selected isolates increased significantly the root length and dry weight. Best results were observed in isolate EB4B in terms of growth promotion in the absence of FORL, improving 326.60 % of the root length and 142.70 % of plant dry weight if compared with untreated controls. In the presence of FORL, the strain EB4B improved both root length (180.81 %) and plant dry weight (202.15 %). These results encourage further characterization of the observed beneficial effect of Enterobacter sp. EB4B for a possible use as biofertilizer and biocontrol agent against FORL.

Summary

The olive fruit fly Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is the major pest of olives worldwide. The figitid wasp, Aganaspis daci (Hymenoptera: Figitidae), is a larval-prepupal endoparasitoid of fruit fly species, and it was found to successfully parasitize medfly larvae in field-infested figs in Greece. To assess the potential of A. daci as a biological control agent against B. oleae, we studied the effect of olive fruit size on parasitism rates of A. daci on 2nd and 3rd instar larvae of B. oleae, by using fruit of different size (cultivar ‘Chalkidikis’) and wild olive fruit. In addition, we conducted releases of A. daci females in a pilot olive grove in Volos, Magnesia. From July to October, we released 200 A. daci females/0.1 ha/week, followed by olive fruit sampling to estimate olive fruit infestation levels and the parasitism rates of A. daci. Laboratory trials revealed that fruit size and larvae instar were predictors of parasitism success of A. daci, with parasitism rates higher for small-size fruit of the cultivar “Chalkidikis” and the 3rd instar larvae of B. oleae. In field trials, no A. daci adults emerged from the olive fly infested fruit.

Summary

Root-knot nematodes (RKN), Meloidogyne spp., have a wide host range and are common in the Mediterranean area. Cultivated lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) was found naturally infested by M. hapla in Kozani area, the first documented infestation of this crop by RKN in Greece. Oxalis pescaprae, a common winter weed in Crete, was found to be a host of M. javanica under artificial inoculation. This weed acts as a potential winter host of the nematode in fields cultivated with vegetable crops. Two populations of M. ethiopica were found in kiwi and maize in Greece in the past. Recently, populations of M. ethiopica from Europe were re-classified as M. luci, based only on the population isolated from kiwi for Greece. In the current work, the RKN populations originating from kiwi and maize and maintained on tomato, were identified as M. luci. Nematode species identification was determined by electrophoretic analysis of protein extracts obtained from females.

Summary

Phenology and parasitism of the scale insect, Coccus pseudomagnoliarum (Kuwana) (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha: Coccidae), infesting Citrus sinensis (Rutaceae), were studied in Papagou area, in northeastern Athens, from June 2015 to June 2017. Coccus pseudomagnoliarum is a univoltine, viviparous, parthenogenetic species. It overwintered as settled 1st instar nymph on the shoots of the trees. The 2nd instar nymphs appeared between the beginning of April and the end of May, and the mature females were recorded from the beginning of May until the middle of June. The crawlers appeared between the middle of May and the middle of June and the 1st instar nymphs settled on the shoots at the end of May, where they remained during the whole summer period, winter, until the beginning of April next year. Parasitism of the scale was recorded between the beginning of May and the middle of May and reached a maximum rate of 35%. The recorded parasitoid species were Coccophagus shillongensis Hayat and Singh (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae), Coccophagus spp. and Metaphycus dispar (Mercet) (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae).

Summary

The aim of the present study was to investigate the efficacy and the egg reappearance period (ERP) of ivermectin (IVM) in donkeys during a 13-week period. The study involved a total of 14 adult Amiata breed donkeys, 7 – 13 years of age, and naturally infected with small strongyles. A group of 10 donkeys was treated with IVM oral paste at a dose rate of 200 mcg/kg BW. Another group of 4 donkeys was kept as untreated control group. Faecal samples were collected and examined for strongyle eggs on day 0 before treatment. IVM efficacy was based on the faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT) on day 14 post-treatment. Then individual faecal samples were collected and examined by FECRT at weekly intervals. A FECRT of 100 % was found after treatment with IVM and its ERP, defined as the week when the mean FECRT decreased until to become lower than 90 %efficacy, was estimated to be 11 weeks without signs of developing anthelmintic resistance. No adverse reactions were observed during the study period. Our findings may be useful to veterinary practitioners and breeders as they show that IVM, at the recommended dose rate, can be still considered a highly effective and safe pharmacological tool for the treatment of small strongyles in donkeys. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that all possible strategies are undertaken to avoid the risk of emergence of anthelmintic resistance to IVM in donkeys.

Summary

Crenosoma striatum is a host-specifi c metastrongiloid nematode causing respiratory tract disease in hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus). Since few studies have reported C. striatum in hedgehogs and little genetic data is available concerning this lungworm, this study aimed to determine the occurrence of C. striatum in a population sample of hedgehogs from Portugal, additionally providing morphological, histological and molecular data. From 2017 to 2018 a survey of infection was carried out in 11 necropsied hedgehogs. Worms were extracted from fresh lung tissues and microscopically evaluated. Molecular characterization of partial mitochondrial (12S rRNA) and nuclear (18S rRNA) genes was performed. The presence of lungworms in pulmonary tissues of five hedgehogs (45.5%) was detected. Morphological and histopathological analyses evidenced adult forms of nematodes consistent with C. striatum. Molecular characterization of 18S rRNA genes confirmed the classifi cation as C. striatum. Also, novel genetic data characterizing the mitochondrial (12S rRNA) gene of C. striatum is presented.

This is the first report of C. striatum infection in hedgehogs of Portugal. The findings here reported provide new insights regarding the geographic distribution and the molecular identification of this lungworm species.

Summary

Integrated studies are required to better understand the relationships between groups of soil microfauna under the influence of various biotic and abiotic factors that drive and characterise ecosystems. We analysed soil nematode communities and microbial diversity and the properties of three soil types to assess the effect of these environmental variables on biological diversity in natural (forest), semi-natural (meadow), and managed (agriculture) habitats of the Slovak Republic. The type of ecosystem and soil and the interaction of both factors had considerable effects on most monitored abiotic and biotic soil properties. The forest with a Chernozem soil had the most nematode species, highest nematode diversity, highest abundance of nematode within functional guilds, best values of ecological and functional indices, highest microbial biomass, highest microbial richness and diversity, and the highest values of various soil properties, followed by meadows with a Cambisol soil. The agricultural ecosystem with a Stagnosol soil had the lowest biological diversity and values of the soil properties. Several nematode species were new for Slovak nematode fauna. Sampling date and the interaction of all three factors (ecosystem × soil × date) had minor or no effect on most of the parameters, except soil moisture content, microbial richness, nematode channel ratio, nematode maturity index, and plant parasitic index. Both the biological indicators and basic soil properties indicated that the natural forest with a Chernozem soil was the best habitat from an ecological point of view. This ecosystem is thus the most appropriate for ecological studies.

Summary

During the past few years, several localities with increasing Dirofilaria immitis occurrences have been identified in Slovakia; particularly in areas regarded as endemic for Dirofilaria repens up until now. In terms of that, dogs with clinically manifested heartworm disease have been referred to the veterinary ambulances more frequently. We report in this study, two autochthonous cases of D. immitisinfections diagnosed in two seven-year-old siblings of Tibetan Mastiff dogs from the Košice region of south-eastern Slovakia. The course of the disease in both dogs were very different. The female dog did not manifest any unusual findings, however the male dog exhibited severe clinical signs of heartworm disease that lead to his death. The subsequent autopsy revealed adult D. immitis worms in the right heart ventricle and pulmonary arteries.

Summary

Three clinical cases of dogs with Pearsonema plica infection were detected in the western part of Slovakia. All cases were detected within five months. Infections were confirmed after positive findings of capillarid eggs in the urine sediment in following breeds. The eight years old Jack Russell Terrier, one year old Italian Greyhound, and eleven years old Yorkshire terrier were examined and treated. In one case, the infection was found accidentally in clinically healthy dog. Two other patients had nonspecific clinical signs such as apathy, inappetence, vomiting, polydipsia and frequent urination. This paper describes three individual cases, including the case history, clinical signs, examinations, and therapies. All data were obtained by attending veterinarian as well as by dog owners.