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Paecilomyces lilacinus: A Sustainable Solution for Nematode Management

Nematodes, tiny worms live in the soil, pose a severe threat, and cause substantial economic damage to a wide variety of crops.  Conventional methods of chemical control also decrease the abundance and diversity of soil fauna communities, which are beneficial as well as polluting. As the agricultural sector looks for eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives, especially in high-value crops, Paecilomyces lilacinus has proved to be a promising biocontrol agent. This naturally occurring fungus has proven effective in managing root-knot nematodes and cyst nematodes, providing a sustainable and eco-friendly solution to nematode-related problems, especially in polyhouse grown crops.

What can Paecilomyces lilacinus do?

Paecilomyces lilacinus is a soil-inhabiting fungus with nematophagous properties, apart from being an insect parasite and the bioagent of several fungi and phytopathogenic bacteria through different mechanisms of action. This fungus has been extensively researched for its control effects against various nematodes, particularly root-knot and cyst nematodes. Its efficacy in controlling nematodes makes it a promising candidate for use in agriculture.

Benefits of Paecilomyces lilacinus

  1. Control effects against various nematodes
    • Paecilomyces lilacinus displays flexibility in controlling many nematode species, including root-knot nematodes, cyst nematodes, kidney-shaped nematodes, puncture nematodes, golden nematodes, and heterologous nematodes. This broad activity makes it the most promising biocontrol agent, widely adopted by nematologists in nearly 70 countries.
    • Global Adoption: The fungus’s adaptability to different climatic conditions enhances its global acceptance, and its high parasitic rate for nematode eggs significantly reduces soil nematode populations. It also helps in the production of phytohormones, such as gibberellins and indole-acetic acid, that promote growth and mitigate the effects of abiotic stress. When used in combination with microbial agents, it has positive effects on crop growth.
    • Climate Adaptability: Paecilomyces lilacinus proves effective in diverse agricultural settings due to its ability to adapt to various climatic conditions.
  1. Low requirements for nutrient conditions
    • One of Paecilomyces lilacinus’s significant advantages is its minimal nutrient requirements. As a biocontrol organism, it thrives on various conventional media and can grow on natural substrates like agricultural waste, residue, and plant extracts.
    • Industrial Production: The fungus’s growth is significant without needing any specific nutrients; hence, its large-scale industrial fermentation production simplifies the creation of solid or liquid microbial agents for applications such as root treatment, seed dressing, or spraying.
  1. Reduce the use of pesticides: As environmental concerns mount over the use of traditional pesticides, P. lilacinus presents itself as a viable alternative acceptable to organic as well as natural farming systems. Its biocontrol capabilities not only offer nematode management but also suggest potential applications in pesticide and sewage treatment.
    • Environmental Impact: Organic pesticides, often serious pollutants, can be mitigated through the adoption of lilacinus as an effective treatment option.
    • Naturally available: It is a naturally occurring fungus found in soils, applied as a nematicide to control nematodes attacking plant roots. It acts against plant root nematodes by infecting eggs, juveniles, and adult females. It is not pathogenic to humans and does not produce any known toxicologically significant secondary metabolites.
  1. Produce Growth Enzymes
    • Paecilomyces lilacinus’s ability to produce functional enzymes, including chitinase, cell lyase, glucanases, and serine protease, sets it apart in the realm of biocontrol agents.
    • Chitinase Potential: Chitinase holds promise in controlling plant pathogenic bacteria. Research in this area is ongoing, and the application of chitinase derived from Paecilomyces lilacinus presents extensive prospects.

Target Crops and Diseases

  1. lilacinus effectively protects a broad range of crops,
    • Target Crops: Maize, Sorghum, Soybean, Chickpea, Cowpea, Eggplant, Potato, Capsicum, Tomato, Cucumbers, Ornamental flowers, Vineyards, Ornamentals in greenhouses, and nurseries.
    • Target Diseases: Root knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita) and Root lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus brachyurus).

Method of Application & Dosage

Application MethodDosage
Soil Application10 kg P. lilacinus formulation mixed with 100 kg farmyard manure or well-decomposed organic manure per hectare.
Seedling treatmentThe formulation is usually applied as a soil drench but can also be used as a dip for young plants.
Drip System10 kg P. lilacinus formulation mixed with 1000 Liters of water and incorporated into the soil through drip irrigation systems before or after planting.
Multiple ApplicationsRecommended in case of high nematode population pressures and in perennial crops.


Paecilomyces lilacinus emerges as a sustainable and effective solution for nematode management, offering control against various nematode species, adaptability to different climates, and minimal nutrient requirements. Its role in reducing pesticide usage, producing growth enzymes, and contributing to environmental sustainability positions it as a valuable asset in modern agriculture. As global agriculture continues to seek eco-friendly alternatives, P. lilacinus stands as a beacon of hope in the quest for sustainable nematode management.

At Peptech Biosciences Ltd., we are dedicated to providing cutting-edge products that enhance crop health and yield in an eco-friendly way. Our commitment to sustainable agriculture is reflected in the reliability of our offerings. With a focus on eco-friendly alternatives, we are pleased to offer Paecilomyces lilacinus formulation in a talcum-based powdered form. Our products undergo rigorous testing to ensure efficacy, making them a trusted choice for farmers looking to address nematode issues responsibly. Partner with Peptech Biosciences Ltd. for innovative and sustainable solutions that contribute to a greener and more productive agricultural future. Visit our website for more information.


Paecilomyces lilacinus emerges as a sustainable biocontrol agent against nematodes, offering versatile efficacy, adaptability to various climates, and low nutrient requirements. With the potential to reduce pesticide use, produce growth enzymes, and contribute to environmental sustainability, P. lilacinus stands as a promising solution in modern agriculture. Its role in nematode management across diverse crops positions it as a valuable asset in pursuing eco-friendly alternatives in global agriculture.