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John W. Potter and Adam Dale

Intraspecific crossing of `Guardian' and `Midway' cultivated strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) produced a family of genotypes, some of which suppressed root-lesion nematode [Pratylenchus penetrans (Cobb)] population counts and produced large berries and high yield. Unlike `Midway', `Guardian' also suppressed P. penetrans. Among several beach strawberry [Fragaria chiloensis (L.) Duch.] and woodland strawberry (Fragaria virginiana Duch.) genotypes, variation was found in resistance and tolerance to root-lesion nematodes. Three F. chiloensis genotypes showed tolerance, and at least two genotypes may be somewhat resistant. Three F. virginiana genotypes also were tolerant, and three were resistant. Also, one (`Little Cataraqui 4') combined root growth vigor with nematode resistance. We concluded that exploitable genetic diversity in vigor and reaction to root-lesion nematodes exists in wild Fragaria and in F. ×ananassa.

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Alan W. McKeown, John W. Potter, Mary Gartshore, and Peter Carson

Root lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus penetrans Cobb) are well-adapted to sandy soils and have a host range including most agronomic, horticultural, and wild species grown in Ontario. As native climax sand-prairie species have coexisted with the nematode for millennia, resistance or tolerance may have developed. We have screened using the Baermann pan technique, soil samples taken from a private collection of sand-prairie species collected from local prairie remnants. Several species [Liatris cylindracea Michx., Monarda punctata L., Pycnanthemum virginianum L., Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench] proved to be excellent hosts (>500/kg of soil) of root lesion nematode, confirming the presence of this nematode in the soil. Over two seasons, we determined that 10 plant species belonging to the families Asclepiadaceae, Compositae, Graminae, and Leguminosae to support very low numbers of P. penetrans. Brown-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta L.) had no root lesion nematodes throughout both seasons, Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa L.) very low counts, while Switch grass (Panicum virgatum L.) and Indian grass [Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash] had detectable root lesion nematodes on only one sampling date each year. Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman), Little Bluestem [Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx) Nash], Sand Dropseed [Sporobolus cryptandrus (Torr.) Gray], Side-oats Grama [Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.)) Torr], Broomsedge (Andropogon virginicus L.), Bush clover [Lespedeza capitata (Michx] also are poor hosts. These species have potential as cover or rotation crops useful for nematode management.

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Alan W. McKeown, John W. Potter, R.F. Cerkauskas, and L. Van Driel

A long-term experiment in the same site was planted to evaluate potential yield, nematode, and disease problems with tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) in a strip-till system. Treatments consisted of conventional tillage (CT) and strip tillage (ST), rye (Secale cereale L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) cover crops and a 2-year rye–tomato rotation. Results of the first 5 years indicate a decrease in tomato yield over time for both tillage treatments and cover crops. Tomato yields were lower following wheat and perennial ryegrass than rye. Strip-tillage reduced yield compared to conventional tillage in only 1 year out of 6. Yield increased overall for treatments in 1992, with highest yield in the rye–tomato rotation. Bacterial speck/spot symptoms on foliage, although minor, were significantly greater in ST than in CT plots during the last 3 years. No major consistent trends in incidence and severity of bacterial and fungal diseases and of disorders of fruit were evident during the 5-year period, and neither fruit yield nor quality were significantly affected by these factors. Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne hapla Chitwood) were numerically less numerous in the rye–tomato rotation than in other treatments; both root-knot and root lesion nematodes [Pratylenchus penetrans (Cobb)] tended to be less numerous under CT than under ST. Tomatoes grown under reduced tillage appear more sensitive to plant parasitic nematodes and preceding cover crops than in conventional tillage.