Development of rootstocks resistant to root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) is a priority in grape breeding. The N allele, present in Harmony and Freedom rootstocks, confers resistance to N-avirulent strains of Meloidogyne. Extensive planting of rootstocks containing N has led to the development of N-virulent nematode strains, prompting a search for new resistance alleles. A seedling population derived from Vitis nesbittiana Comeaux was evaluated to investigate the genetic control of nematode resistance in this species. Hybridization with easily propagated rootstock selections will be required to utilize nematode resistance found in V. nesbittiana, a native of Mexico. The female parent of the population was 161-49C, a V. riparia × V. berlandieri hybrid rootstock. 161-49C does not contribute nematode resistance to its progeny. The male parent was V. nesbittiana DVIT 2236.12, an accession held in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm system. Nematode resistance of the 161-49C × V. nesbittiana DVIT 2236.12 population was assessed in greenhouse pot culture. Seedling roots were stained in an eosin-Y solution six weeks after inoculation with 1500 N-virulent M. arenaria juveniles. Resistance classes of seedlings were determined by assessing the degree of galling and number of egg masses per root system. Segregation in the seedling population was consistent with a 1:1 ratio of resistance to susceptibility, indicating that the V. nesbittiana accession is heterozygous for a dominant allele conferring resistance to N-virulent root-knot nematodes. The genetic relationship between this allele and the N allele has yet to be determined.
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