Cover Crops Resistant to Root-lesion Nematodes in Raspberry

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  • 1 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0, Canada
  • | 2 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agriculture Research Centre, P.O. Box 1000, Agassiz, B.C. V0M 1A0, Canada

Cover crops used in red raspberry plantings (Rubus idaeus L.) are often good hosts of the root-lesion nematode (Pratylenchus penetrans Filipjev & Sch. Stekoven), a major soilborne pathogen of raspberry. The effects of two susceptible cover crops, white clover (Trifolium repens L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), planted in between rows, on nematode density and growth of raspberry plants were compared to those of three cover crops resistant to the nematode: redtop (Agrostis alba L.), creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra L.), and `Saia' oat (Avena sativa L.). Nematode multiplication in raspberry roots and in cover crop roots was assessed over 4 years. Growth and vigor of plants were estimated at the end of the experiment by counting primocanes and determining height and biomass. Nematode multiplication was suppressed in roots of `Saia' oat, fescue, and redtop compared to barley or white clover. Nematode density in roots and rhizosphere soil of raspberry was not affected by the choice of cover crops. Nematode suppression in the three resistant cover crops did not translate into increased vigor of raspberry plants.

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