A trough system was developed to study rates of plant virus transmission by plant parasitic nematodes. Perforated plumber's polyvinyl chloride pipe, 5 cm in diameter, was cut into 48-cm lengths, split longitudinally, and fashioned into troughs to hold soil and common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Webber) transplants. The first plant in each trough was infected with tomato ringspot virus (TmRSV), followed by 10 uninfected plants spaced at 4-cm intervals. The soil contained a high concentration of Xiphinema rivesi (199 per 100 cm3), a low concentration (16 per 100 cm3), or none. Plants were assayed biweekly for TmRSV. After 42 weeks, transmission rates between the low and high concentrations of nematodes were not significantly different. The subirrigated trough system provided excellent soil conditions for plant growth and sufficient nematode survival to detect virus transmission through 36 weeks.