Five in vitro propagated peach scion cultivars (Suncrest, Rio Oso Gem, Compact Redhaven, Redhaven, Jerseyqueen) and two rootstock (Nemaguard and Lovell) were screened in vitro and in microplots for their susceptibility to the root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita. Evaluations in tissue culture for galling were conducted at 5 wk. Trees in microplots were evaluated for 3 years for nematode populations, trunk diameter, and yield. Comparative results indicated that the number and size of galls observed at 5 wk in vitro is indicative of the response of peaches to nematodes under field conditions after three years. Cultivar Compact Redhaven was significantly more tolerant to root-knot than `Lovell' the most widely used peach rootstock. These results suggest that Compact Redhaven might be potentially useful as a rootstock in the Southeast where Nemaguard is used sparingly because of its lack of cold tolerance. In addition, these results indicate that in vitro screening holds promise as a rapid technique for evaluating root-knot nematode resistance.
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