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R.L. Fery and J.A. Thies

Scotch Bonnet and Habanero peppers, extremely pungent cultivar classes of Capsicum chinense, are becoming popular in the United States. Since the southern root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) is a major pest of many C. annuum cultivars commonly grown in the United States, a series of greenhouse and field studies was conducted to determine whether Scotch Bonnet and Habanero peppers also are vulnerable to the pest. An effort was made to collect Scotch Bonnet and Habanero seeds from all available commercial and private sources. In an initial greenhouse test, a collection of 59 C. chinense accessions was evaluated for reaction to M. incognita (race 3). All accessions obtained from commercial sources were moderately susceptible or susceptible. However, four accessions obtained via Seed Savers Exchange listings exhibited high levels of resistance. Three of these accessions (identified by the seed sources as Yellow Scotch Bonnet, Jamaica Scotch Bonnet, and Red Habanero) were studied in subsequent greenhouse and field plantings, and each was confirmed to have a level of resistance similar to the level of resistance exhibited by the C. annuum cv. Mississippi Nemaheart. Each of the resistant lines has good fruit and yield characteristics. The two Scotch Bonnet accessions produce yellow, bonnet-shaped fruit. The Red Habanero accession does not produce the lantern-shaped fruit typical of Habanero cultivars; the fruit have a bonnet shape.

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W. R. Maluf, S. M. Azevedo, and V.P. Campos

Heritabilities for resistance to root knot nematodes (Meloidogyne javanica and Meloidogyne incognita races 1, 2, 3, and 4) were studied in a population of 226 sweetpotato clones of diverse origin. For each nematode isolate tested, 128-cell speedling trays were filled with previously inoculated substrate (30000 eggs/1000 mL substrate). Sweetpotato clones suitably tagged and identified were randomly planted in the cells (one plant/cell), with a total of four plants per clone per isolate. Ninety days after inoculation, sweetpotato plants had their roots washed for substrate removal, and treated with 150 mg·L–1 Phloxine B to stain nematode egg masses. The number of egg masses per root was recorded, and plants were accordingly assigned scores from 0 (highly resistant) to 5 (highly susceptible). Broad-sense heritability estimates were 0.87, 0.91, 0.81, 0.95, and 0.93 respectively for resistance to M. javanica and races 1, 2, 3, and 4 of M. incognita. The frequencies of resistant genotypes were higher for M. javanica and lower for M. incognita race 2. Genotypic correlations (rG) among the resistances to the various Meloidogyne isolates utilized were weak, ranging from 0.11 to 0.57, suggesting independent genetic controls. Clones could be selected, however, with high levels of resistance to all nematode isolates tested. (This work was supported by CNPq, CAPES, FAPEMIG, and FAEPE/UFLA.)

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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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Susan L.F. Meyer, Inga A. Zasada, Mario Tenuta, and Daniel P. Roberts

The biosolid soil amendment N-Viro Soil (NVS) and a Streptomyces isolate (S 99-60) were tested for effects on root-knot nematode [RKN (Meloidogyne incognita)] egg populations on cantaloupe (Cucumis melo). Application of 3% NVS (dry weight amendment/dry weight soil) in the soil mixture resulted in significant (P ≤ 0.01) suppression of RKN egg numbers on cantaloupe roots compared to all other treatments, including 1% NVS and untreated controls. Ammonia accumulation was higher with the 3% NVS amendment than with any other treatment. Adjustment of soil pH with calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2] to the same levels that resulted from NVS amendment did not suppress nematode populations. When cultured in yeast-malt extract broth and particularly in nutrient broth, S 99-60 was capable of producing a compound(s) that reduced RKN egg hatch and activity of second-stage juveniles. However, when this isolate was applied to soil and to seedling roots, no suppression of RKN egg populations was observed on cantaloupe roots. Combining S 99-60 with NVS or Ca(OH)2 did not result in enhanced nematode suppression compared to treatments applied individually. The results indicated that NVS application was effective at suppressing RKN populations through the accumulation of ammonia to levels lethal to the nematode in soil.

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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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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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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.

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Anne M. Gillen and Fred A. Bliss

An F2 population from a single F1 plant from the cross of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] rootstock cultivars Harrow Blood (HB) × Okinawa (Oki) was used to locate the Mi locus, which conditions resistance to Meloidogyne incognita (race 1) (Kofoid and White) Chitwood. These data and comparison of common markers among published genetic linkage maps placed the Mi locus on Prunus L. linkage group 2. Two restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) [linked at 4.8 and 6.8 centimorgan (cM), repulsion phase] and one random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) marker (linked at 9.5 cM, coupling phase) were linked to Mi. The RAPD marker was cloned, sequenced, and converted to a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPs) marker. Clones of resistance gene analogs (RGA) developed from Oki were highly polymorphic when used as RFLP probes. The RGA's mapped to four linkage groups but clustered on two of the four linkage groups, providing limited coverage of the genome. Even so, they may be useful as markers for disease resistance genes that occur in other populations. The linkage maps of the HB × Oki F2 population and a peach × almond (Prunus amygdalus Batsch) F2 population were colinear in certain regions, however, a significant number of markers mapped to different linkage groups among the two populations. The locus for the blood-flesh trait (red-violet mesocarp) mapped to the top of linkage group 4.

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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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Judy A. Thies and Amnon Levi

Root-knot nematodes [Meloidogyne arenaria (Neal) Chitwood, Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood, and Meloidogyne javanica (Treub) Chitwood] are serious pests of watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai var. lanatus] in the southern United States and worldwide. Watermelon cultivars with resistance to any of these nematode pests are not available. Therefore, we evaluated all accessions of Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad.(21) and Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai var. citroides (L.H. Bailey) Mansf.(88), and about 10% of C. lanatus var. lanatus (156) accessions from the U.S. Plant Introduction (PI) Citrullus germplasm collection for resistance to M. arenaria race 1 in greenhouse tests. Only one C. lanatus var. lanatus accession exhibited very low resistance [root gall index (GI) = 4.9] and 155 C. lanatus var. lanatus accessions were susceptible (GI ranged from 5.0 to 9.0, where 1 = no galls and 9 = ≥81% root system covered with galls). All C. colocynthis accessions were highly susceptible (GI range = 8.5 to 9.0). However, 20 of 88 C. lanatus var. citroides accessions were moderately resistant with a GI range of 3.1 to 4.0; overall GI range for the C. lanatus var. citroides accessions was 3.1 to 9.0. Resistance to M. arenaria race 1 identified in the C. lanatus var. citroides accessions was confirmed on a subset of accessions in a replicated greenhouse test. The results of our evaluations demonstrated that there is significant genetic variability within the U.S. PI Citrullus germplasm collection for resistance to M. arenaria race 1 and also identified C. lanatus var. citroides accessions as potential sources of resistance.