Plant parasitic nematode infection and control in sports turf: novel approaches using seaweed.

Tamsin Williams

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Changing climates have created new and continuing problems for turf grass management. The need for sustainable fertilisers and pesticides are necessary if high quality turf for sport is going to be continually produced whilst simultaneously minimising damage to soil health and ecosystems. Climatic changes have seen a rise in drought, salinity problems, disease infection and water shortages meaning poorer soil health and a reduction in turf quality. This thesis investigates the use of a seaweed extract from the brown alga Ascophyllum nodosum on sports turf against the turf disease causing parasite, plant parasitic nematodes (PPN). Using laboratory, field and desk-based studies, this thesis begins to describe the potential for seaweed extract use against PPN. Desk-based studies include meta-analysis and Q-methodoloy, where the former outlines how prior research has found seaweed extracts to be a useful control method for species of the root knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp) and shows a species-specific effects. The latter quantifies the turf industries views on sustainability, PPN and the use of biostimulants. Laboratory work includes nematode and turfgrass assays showing the potential for seaweed extract to be used as a preventative PPN control technique and RNA-sequencing began to uncover seaweeds mode of action and shows that it can be used as a priming agent in Arabidopsis thaliana. This thesis also shows that seaweed can be successfully used in the field on an in-play golf green.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Gange, Alan, Supervisor
  • Owen, Andy, Supervisor, External person
  • Devlin, Paul, Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date1 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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