Heritability of Root-knot Nematode (Meloidogyne spp.) Resistance in Sweetpotatoes

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  • 1 1Departamento de Agricultura, Universidade Federal de Lavras, Cx.P.37, CEP
  • | 2 2Departamento de Fitossanidade, Universidade Federal de Lavras, Cx.P.37, CEP 37200-000 Lavras-MG-Brazil

Heritabilities for resistance to root knot nematodes (Meloidogyne javanica and Meloidogyne incognita races 1, 2, 3, and 4) were studied in a population of 226 sweetpotato clones of diverse origin. For each nematode isolate tested, 128-cell speedling trays were filled with previously inoculated substrate (30000 eggs/1000 mL substrate). Sweetpotato clones suitably tagged and identified were randomly planted in the cells (one plant/cell), with a total of four plants per clone per isolate. Ninety days after inoculation, sweetpotato plants had their roots washed for substrate removal, and treated with 150 mg·L–1 Phloxine B to stain nematode egg masses. The number of egg masses per root was recorded, and plants were accordingly assigned scores from 0 (highly resistant) to 5 (highly susceptible). Broad-sense heritability estimates were 0.87, 0.91, 0.81, 0.95, and 0.93 respectively for resistance to M. javanica and races 1, 2, 3, and 4 of M. incognita. The frequencies of resistant genotypes were higher for M. javanica and lower for M. incognita race 2. Genotypic correlations (rG) among the resistances to the various Meloidogyne isolates utilized were weak, ranging from 0.11 to 0.57, suggesting independent genetic controls. Clones could be selected, however, with high levels of resistance to all nematode isolates tested. (This work was supported by CNPq, CAPES, FAPEMIG, and FAEPE/UFLA.)

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