Use of a Resistant Pepper as a Rotational Crop to Manage Southern Root-knot Nematode

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  • 1 U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2875 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC 29414-5334
  • | 2 Department of Plant Pathology and Physiology, Edisto Research and Education Center, Clemson University, P.O. Box 247, Blackville, SC 29817
  • | 3 U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2875 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC 29414-5334

A 3-year field study was conducted at Blackville, S.C., to evaluate the potential of using resistant pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) cultivars as a rotation crop for managing the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid and White) Chitwood]. The experiment was a split-plot with main plots arranged in a randomized complete-block design. In 1993, the entire experimental site was infested with M. incognita by inoculating a planting of susceptible PA-136 cayenne pepper with eggs of M. incognita race 3. In 1994, the main plots were planted to either highly resistant `Carolina Cayenne' or its susceptible sibling line PA-136. In 1995, `Carolina Cayenne' and the susceptible bell cultivars California Wonder and Keystone Resistant Giant were grown as subplots in each of the original main plots. `Carolina Cayenne' plants were unaffected by the previous crop. Previous cropping history, however, had a significant impact on the performance of the bell cultivars; the mean galling response was less (P < 0.01) and the yield was 2.8 times greater (P < 0.01) in the main plots previously cropped with `Carolina Cayenne' than in those previously cropped with PA-136. These results suggest that resistant pepper cultivars have considerable merit as a rotation crop for managing M. incognita infestations in soils used for growing high-value vegetables.

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