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Philip D. Dukes Sr., Richard L. Fery, and Judy A. Thies

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Richard L. Fery, Philip D. Dukes, and Judy A. Thies

A series of greenhouse and field studies was conducted over 9 years to characterize three new sources of resistance in cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] to the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood] and to determine if the resistances are conditioned by genes allelic to the Rk root-knot nematode resistance gene in `Mississippi Silver'. Three plant introductions (PI), PI 441917, PI 441920, and PI 468104, were evaluated for reaction to M. incognita in four greenhouse tests, and in every test each PI exhibited less galling, egg mass formation, or egg production than `Mississippi Silver'. F2 populations of the crosses between `Mississippi Silver' and each of the three resistant PIs were also evaluated for root-knot nematode resistance in a greenhouse test. None of the F2 populations segregated for resistance, indicating that PI 441917, PI 441920, and PI 468104 each has a gene conditioning resistance that is allelic to the Rk gene in `Mississippi Silver'. Our observations on the superior levels of resistances exhibited by PI 441917, PI 441920, and PI 468104 suggest that the allele at the Rk locus in these lines may not be the Rk allele, but one or more alleles that condition a superior, dominant-type resistance. The availability of additional dominant alleles would broaden the genetic base for root-knot nematode resistance in cowpea.

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Judy A. Thies, Don W. Dickson, and Richard L. Fery

Two root-knot nematode-resistant bell pepper cultivars, ‘Charleston Belle’ and ‘Carolina Wonder’ (Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum], and their susceptible parents, ‘Keystone Resistant Giant’ and ‘Yolo Wonder B’, were compared for managing the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Chitwood) Kofoid and White] in fall and spring tests at Citra, FL. In the fall test, ‘Charleston Belle’ and ‘Carolina Wonder’ exhibited minimal root galling and nematode reproduction, and ‘Keystone Resistant Giant’ and ‘Yolo Wonder B’ exhibited severe root galling and high nematode reproduction. Fruit yield of ‘Charleston Belle’ was 97% greater than yields of the two susceptible cultivars (P ≤ 0.006). In the spring test, one-half of the plots were treated with methyl bromide/chloropicrin before planting the same four bell pepper cultivars. ‘Keystone Resistant Giant’ and ‘Yolo Wonder B’ grown in untreated control plots exhibited severe root galling and high nematode reproduction, but the other six cultivar × methyl bromide combinations exhibited minimal root galling and nematode reproduction. Although soil temperatures (10-cm depth) were greater than 30 °C on 78 days and 57 days during the Fall 2002 and Spring 2003 trials, respectively, resistance did not break in ‘Charleston Belle’ and ‘Carolina Wonder’ in either test. These results demonstrate that root-knot nematode-resistant cultivars such as Charleston Belle and Carolina Wonder are viable alternatives to methyl bromide for managing southern root-knot nematode in bell pepper in sub-tropical environments.

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Richard L. Fery, Philip D. Dukes Sr., and Judy A. Thies

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Ryan S. Donahoo, William W. Turechek, Judy A. Thies, and Chandrasekar S. Kousik

Phytophthora capsici is an aggressive pathogen that is distributed worldwide with a broad host range infecting solanaceous, fabaceous, and cucurbitaceous crops. Over the past two decades, increased incidence of Phytophthora blight, particularly in eastern states, has threatened production of many vegetable crops. Cucumis melo L. (honeydew and muskmelon), although especially susceptible to fruit rot, is also highly susceptible to crown rot. Currently, little is known about host resistance to P. capsici in C. melo. To assess crown rot resistance in C. melo seedlings, 308 U.S. PIs, and two commercial cultivars (Athena and Dinero) were grown under greenhouse conditions. Seedlings with three to four true leaves were inoculated with a five-isolate zoospore suspension (1 × 104 zoospores per seedling) at the crown and monitored for 6 weeks. All the susceptible control plants of Athena died within 7 days post-inoculation. The majority of the PIs (281 of 308) were highly susceptible to crown rot and succumbed to the disease rapidly and had less than 20% of the plants survive. Several PIs (PI 181748, PI 182964, and PI 273438) succumbed to crown rot earlier than the susceptible melon cultivars. Eighty-seven PIs selected on the basis of the first screen were re-evaluated and of these PIs, 44 were less susceptible than cultivars Athena and Dinero. Twenty-five of the 87 PIs were evaluated again and of these six PI, greater than 80% of the plants survived in the two evaluations. Disease development was significantly slower on these PIs compared with the susceptible checks. High levels of resistance in S1 plants of PI 420180, PI 176936, and PI 176940 were observed, which suggests that development of resistant germplasm for use in breeding programs can be accomplished. Further screening and careful selection within each of these PIs can provide a framework for the development of resistant germplasm for use in breeding programs.

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Howard F. Harrison, Judy A. Thies, Richard L. Fery, and J. Powell Smith

A preliminary screening experiment was conducted to evaluate 47 cowpea [Vigna unguiculata, (L.) Walp.] genotypes for use as a weed-suppressing cover crop. Lines evaluated in this study included forage varieties, PI accessions, experimental breeding lines, and land races of unknown origin. Of these, 11 were selected for further testing on the basis of vigorous growth and weed-suppressing ability. In a field experiment repeated over 4 years, the selected genotypes were not different from the leading cover crop cultivar, `Iron Clay', in biomass production. Vigor ratings, vine growth ratings, and canopy widths of some genotypes exceeded those of `Iron Clay'. Vigor ratings and canopy measurements were efficient selection criteria that could be useful for breeding cover crop cowpea cultivars. All selections except an African cultivar, `Lalita', were highly resistant to southern root knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid and White) Chitwood], and the genotypes varied in seed size, photoperiod, and response to diseases.

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D. Michael Jackson, Janice R. Bohac, Judy A. Thies, and Howard F. Harrison

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Howard F. Harrison Jr., D. Michael Jackson, Judy A. Thies, Richard L. Fery, and J. Powell Smith

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Amnon Levi, Judy A. Thies, Alvin M. Simmons, Howard Harrison, Richard Hassell, and Anthony Keinath

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Amnon Levi, Judy A. Thies, Patrick W. Wechter, Mark Farnham, Yiqun Weng, and Richard Hassell