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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. 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 except one selection were highly resistant to southern root knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid and White) Chitwood], and the selections varied in seed size, photoperiod, and response to foliar diseases.

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A. G. Hunter and O. L. Chambliss

Screening for resistance to blackeye cowpea mosaic virus (BlCMV) and rootknot nematode on the same plant is possible if the two pathogens do not interact significantly. To determine if such interactions were present four cultivars were planted in 72-cell styrofoam flats, with a combination of BlCMV and nematode inoculations (--, -+, +-, and ++). `Freezegreen' is known to be susceptible to both pathogens, `Mississippi Silver' is resistant to both, `California Blackeye #5' is susceptible to BlCMV, and `Worthmore' is resistant to BlCMV. Nematode treated seeds were inoculated at planting with 2,000 eggs of (Meloidogyne incognita Race 3); BlCMV was inoculated on primary leaves a week later. Plants were visually rated for symptoms: either negative or positive for BlCMV and 1-5, no galls and heavily galled respectively, for rootknot. Analyses of variance using percentage of plants negative for virus symptoms or average nematode score as the dependent variable, resulted in non-significant virus × nematode interactions. Results by cultivar indicated simultaneous screening did not change their resistance/susceptible classifications.

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Perry E. Nugent and P.D. Dukes

The southern root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita [(Kofoid & White) Chitwood], causes serious economic losses to melon (Cucumis melo L.) production in the United States. The present study was conducted to determine if separable differences in nematode resistance of Cucumis melo could be found at some inoculum level. Five C. melo lines were compared with Cucumis metuliferus Naud. (C701A), a highly resistant species, for root necrosis, galling, egg mass production, and reproduction when inoculated at 0, 500, 1000, 2000, or 5000 nematode eggs per plant. Using these criteria, melon line C880 inoculated with 1000 eggs per plant was highly susceptible, while PI140471, PI 183311, and the cultivars Chilton, Georgia 47, Gulf Coast, Planters Jumbo, and Southland were less susceptible. In greenhouse tests with an inoculum level of 1000 eggs per plant, low levels of resistance were evident. A thorough screening of the available germplasm against M. incognita may identify higher levels of root-knot nematode resistance for incorporation into improved melon cultivars.

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Richard L. Fery and Judy A. Thies

Greenhouse experiments determined the inheritance of resistance to the peanut root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne arenaria (Neal) Chitwood race 1] in Capsicum chinense Jacq. germplasm lines PA-353 and PA-426. Evaluation of parental, F1, F2, and backcross populations of the crosses PA-353 × PA-350 and PA-426 × PA-350 (PA-350 is a susceptible cultigen) indicated that resistance in both C. chinense germplasm lines was conditioned by a single dominant gene. Evaluation of the F1 × resistant parent backcross populations in the cytoplasm of their respective resistant and susceptible parents indicated that the cytoplasm of the resistant parent is not needed for full expression of resistance. Allelism tests indicated that the dominant resistance gene in both PA-353 and PA-426 is allelic to a resistance gene in C. annuum L. `Carolina Cayenne'. However, these allelism tests did not demonstrate conclusively that the M. arenaria race 1 resistance gene in C. chinense is the N gene that conditions resistance to the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood] in C. annuum. The ease and reliability of evaluating plants for resistance to root-knot nematodes and the availability of simply inherited sources of resistance makes breeding for peanut root-knot nematode resistance a viable objective in C. chinense breeding programs.

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Peter Cousins and M. Andrew Walker

The grape Vitis champinii Planchon is one source of nematode resistance in grape rootstocks. Several selections valued for their resistance to the root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita), a serious pest of grape production, are used as rootstocks and in rootstock variety development. However, V. champinii-based rootstock varieties are faulted for their excess vigor and susceptibility to other root pests. Root-knot nematode populations with the ability to damage important V. champinii-based rootstocks have been identified and may become more common. Other V. champinii accessions might be sources of nematode resistance genes with different specificities or might have more suitable horticultural characteristics than V. champinii varieties in commercial use. Nine V. champinii accessions from the National Clonal Germplasm Repository, Davis, Calif., and a V. champinii rootstock variety were screened for resistance to M. incognita. Resistance was assessed by counting eggs produced per root system. Eight of ten V. champinii accessions did not support nematode reproduction. Susceptible accessions supported lower nematode reproduction than susceptible V. vinifera control varieties. Progeny testing from crosses of resistant and susceptible accessions suggests that a dominant and a recessive gene may condition root-knot nematode resistance.

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Richard L. Fery and Judy A. Thies

Greenhouse tests were conducted to compare the levels of resistance to the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood] exhibited by recently released Capsicum chinense Jacq. Scotch Bonnet-type germplasm lines PA-353, PA-398, and PA-426 to the levels of resistance exhibited by C. annuum L. `Carolina Cayenne' and `Mississippi Nemaheart'; to determine the inheritance of the resistance in C. chinense germplasm line PA-426; and to determine the genetic relationship between the resistances exhibited by C. chinense germplasm line PA-426 and C. annuum `Carolina Cayenne'. The results of a replicated test indicated that the level of resistances exhibited by the resistant released C. chinense germplasm lines is equal to the level of resistances exhibited by the resistant C. annuum cultivars. Evaluation of parental, F1, F2, and backcross populations of the cross PA-426 × PA-350 (a susceptible Habanero-type C. chinense cultigen) indicated that the resistance in C. chinense is conditioned by a single dominant gene. The results of an allelism test indicated that this dominant gene is allelic to the dominant gene that conditions much of the southern root-knot nematode resistance in the C. annuum `Carolina Cayenne'. The ease and reliability of evaluating plants for resistance to root-knot nematode and the availability of a simply inherited source of outstanding resistance makes breeding for southern root-knot nematode resistance a viable objective in C. chinense breeding programs.

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Susan L.F. Meyer

Two strains of the fungus Verticillium lecanii (A. Zimmermann) Viégas were studied as potential biocontrol agents for root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood) on cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L.). For the study, pots were filled with soil that had been inoculated with M. incognita (inoculum was applied at two levels: 1000 and 5000 eggs/pot). Each fungus strain was applied individually by pouring an aqueous suspension (made from a wettable granule formulation) into the inoculated soil. Controls received water only. One cantaloupe seedling was then transplanted into each pot. Plants were grown for 55 days in the greenhouse, and then harvested and assessed for root and shoot growth and for nematode egg production. In pots inoculated with 1000 eggs/plant, neither fungus strain affected nematode egg numbers. At the 5000 eggs/plant inoculum level, both strains of the fungus suppressed egg numbers (counts were 28% and 31% less than water controls). Neither strain of V. lecanii affected the number of eggs embedded in root galls; the fungus suppressed nematode population numbers overall solely by affecting the number of eggs located outside of root tissues. Both fungus strains were also autoclaved and then applied to soil, to test for effects of nonviable fungus. In pots inoculated with 5000 eggs, application of one autoclaved strain resulted in a 35% suppression in egg numbers after 55 days, suggesting that the fungus produced a heat-stable substance deleterious to the nematode.

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Judy A. Thies, Richard F. Davis, John D. Mueller, Richard L. Fery, David B. Langston, and Gilbert Miller

Root-knot nematode-resistant `Charleston Belle' bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum) and metam sodium treatment were evaluated for managing the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Chitwood) Kofoid and White] in fall-cropped cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). `Charleston Belle' and its susceptible recurrent parent, `Keystone Resistant Giant', were planted as spring crops at Blackville, S.C., and Tifton, Ga. `Charleston Belle' exhibited high resistance and `Keystone Resistant Giant' was susceptible at both locations. After termination of the bell pepper crop, one-half of the plots were treated with metam sodium delivered through the drip irrigation system. Cucumber yields and numbers of fruit were highest for cucumber grown in plots treated with metam sodium following either `Charleston Belle' or `Keystone Resistant Giant'; however, root gall severity and numbers of M. incognita eggs in the roots were lowest for cucumber grown in plots treated with metam sodium following `Charleston Belle'. Conversely, root gall severity and nematode reproduction were highest for cucumber grown in plots following `Keystone Resistant Giant' without metam sodium treatment. Application of metam sodium through the drip irrigation system following a spring crop of root-knot nematode-resistant bell pepper should reduce severity of root galling and reproduction of M. incognita as well as increase fruit yield of fall-cropped cucumber.

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Richard L. Fery and Judy A. Thies

Scotch Bonnet and Habanero peppers, extremely pungent cultivar classes of Capsicum chinense Jacq., are increasing in popularity in the United States. Because the southern root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood, is a major pest of many C. annuum cultivars, a series of greenhouse and field experiments was conducted to determine if Scotch Bonnet and Habanero peppers from available commercial and private sources also are vulnerable to the pest. In an initial greenhouse test, a collection of 59 C. chinense cultigens was evaluated for reaction to M. incognita race 3. All cultigens obtained from commercial sources were moderately susceptible or susceptible. However, four accessions obtained through Seed Savers Exchange listings exhibited high levels of resistance. Three of these cultigens (PA-353, PA-398, and PA-426) were studied in subsequent greenhouse and field plantings, and each was confirmed to have a level of resistance similar to that available in C. annuum. All three of the resistant cultigens are well-adapted and each is potentially useful in commercial production without further development. None of the Habanero cultigens was resistant to the southern root-knot nematode. The resistant Scotch Bonnet cultigens may serve as sources of resistance for development of root-knot nematode—resistant Habanero peppers.

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K. Ukoskit, P.G. Thompson, C.E. Watson Jr., and G.W. Lawrence

The inheritance of resistance to root-knot nematode race 3 [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood] in sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] was studied in 71 progenies of the F1 single-cross population produced from the cross of resistant parent `Regal' and susceptible parent `Vardaman'. The distribution frequency of the progenies based on log total nematode number (egg + juvenile counts) was a bimodal distribution with a ratio of ≈4 resistant : 1 susceptible. Based on this phenotypic ratio, the proposed genetic model was duplex polysomic inheritance (RRrrrr = resistant parent and rrrrrr = susceptible parent). Bulk segregant analysis in conjunction with the RAPD technique was used to identify a RAPD marker linked to a root-knot-nematode-resistance gene. Of 760 random decamer primers screened, 9 showed polymorphic bands between the two bulk DNA samples. Primer OPI51500 produced a band in the resistant bulk but not in the susceptible bulk, suggesting a linkage in coupling phase. An estimated recombination fraction of 0.2421 ± 0.057 between the marker and the root-knot-nematode-resistance gene indicated linkage.