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Luisa Santamaria and Sherry Kitto

Solanum quitoense, also known as naranjilla or lulo, is a native species of Ecuador and Colombia. Its value is based on the uncommon sweet-sour flavor of its fruits, which is appreciated in the national and international markets. The worst problem for this crop is the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita. The main objective of our research is to develop root-knot nematode–resistant naranjilla via somaclonal variation. Seeds of Solanum quitoense `Baeza' germinated quicker than those of `Dulce'. Seeds given a 2-week dark treatment had 100% germination compared to 75% germination for seeds placed under lights (16-h photoperiod, 60 mmol·m–2s–1). Single-node explants proliferated an average of nine nodes after 1 month of culture. Microcuttings (two nodes, 3.5 cm) stuck in sand and placed under a humidity dome under mist had an average of five roots averaging 25 cm in length after 3 weeks. Stems regenerated shoots better than petioles or leaves and explant orientation/polarity had no effect on regeneration. Root cultures of Solanum quitoense inoculated in vitro with Meloidogyne incognita showed susceptibility to root-knot nematodes.

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R.L. Fery, P.D. Dukes Sr. and J.A. Thies

The southern root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) is a major pest of bell peppers (Capsicum annuum) in the United States. Since none of the leading bell pepper cultivars grown in the U.S. exhibit adequate levels of resistance, a breeding program was initiated to incorporate the N root-knot nematode resistance gene into commercial bell pepper germplasm. A backcross breeding procedure was used. The donor parent of the N gene was the open-pollinated, pimiento pepper cultivar Mississippi Nemaheart, and the recurrent parents were the open-pollinated bell pepper cultivars Keystone Resistant Giant and Yolo Wonder. A large number of homozygous resistant BC6 populations were evaluated in field tests in 1995, and two lines (PA-440, an isoline of `Keystone Resistant Giant', and PA-453, an isoline of `Yolo Wonder') were selected for further field evaluation and seed multiplication in 1996. Results of replicated field and greenhouse tests conducted in 1996 indicate that root-knot nematode resistance has been incorporated successfully in `Keystone Resistant Giant' and `Yolo Wonder' backgrounds.

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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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Richard L. Fery and Philip D. Dukes

Greenhouse experiments were conducted to determine the inheritance of the high level of southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood] resistance exhibited by `Carolina Hot' cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) and to compare the genetic nature of this resistance to that exhibited by `Mississippi Nemaheart.' Evaluation of parental, F1, F2, and backcross generations of the cross `Mississippi Nemaheart' × `California Wonder' confirmed an earlier published report that the `Mississippi Nemaheart' resistance is conditioned by a single dominant gene. Evaluation of parental, F1, F2, and backcross generations of a cross between highly resistant and highly susceptible lines selected from a heterogeneous `Carolina Hot' population indicated that the resistance exhibited by `Carolina Hot' is conditioned by two genes, one dominant and one recessive. Evaluation of the parental and F2 populations of a cross between `Mississippi Nemaheart' and the highly resistant `Carolina Hot' line indicated that the dominant resistance gene in `Mississippi Nemaheart' is allelic to the dominant resistance gene in `Carolina Hot.' Comparison of the data that were collected on the parental lines in the latter cross demonstrated the superior nature of the resistance exhibited by `Carolina Hot.' The presence of the second resistance gene in `Carolina Hot' probably accounted for the higher level of resistance. The ease and reliability of evaluating plants for resistance to root-knot nematodes and the availability of a simply inherited source of resistance makes breeding for southern root-knot nematode resistance a viable objective in pepper breeding programs. This objective should be readily obtainable by the application of conventional plant breeding methodologies.

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C. Stevens, V. A. Khan, A. Y. Tang, C. K. Bonsi and M. A. Wilson

A three year study involving solar heating of soil (soil solarization) with clear polyethylene mulch demonstrated for two years, control of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita). The population of M. incognita was reduced >90% in the 0-30cm depth of solarized soil. The number of eggs per gram root recovered and the root gall index from `Georgia-Jet' sweetpotatoes were reduced (92-98%) by soil solarization. Growth and yield were enhanced in solarized soil. The beneficial effects of solarization was observed in the second year following two additional cropping cycles of collard greens and sweetpotatoes.

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Laurie E. Boyden* and Peter Cousins

Development of rootstocks resistant to root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) is a priority in grape breeding. The N allele, present in Harmony and Freedom rootstocks, confers resistance to N-avirulent strains of Meloidogyne. Extensive planting of rootstocks containing N has led to the development of N-virulent nematode strains, prompting a search for new resistance alleles. A seedling population derived from Vitis nesbittiana Comeaux was evaluated to investigate the genetic control of nematode resistance in this species. Hybridization with easily propagated rootstock selections will be required to utilize nematode resistance found in V. nesbittiana, a native of Mexico. The female parent of the population was 161-49C, a V. riparia × V. berlandieri hybrid rootstock. 161-49C does not contribute nematode resistance to its progeny. The male parent was V. nesbittiana DVIT 2236.12, an accession held in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm system. Nematode resistance of the 161-49C × V. nesbittiana DVIT 2236.12 population was assessed in greenhouse pot culture. Seedling roots were stained in an eosin-Y solution six weeks after inoculation with 1500 N-virulent M. arenaria juveniles. Resistance classes of seedlings were determined by assessing the degree of galling and number of egg masses per root system. Segregation in the seedling population was consistent with a 1:1 ratio of resistance to susceptibility, indicating that the V. nesbittiana accession is heterozygous for a dominant allele conferring resistance to N-virulent root-knot nematodes. The genetic relationship between this allele and the N allele has yet to be determined.

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S. Alan Walters and Todd C. Wehner

Root knot, caused by Meloidogyne spp. is the most important disease of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) in North Carolina, causing an average annual yield loss of 12 %. A greenhouse study was conducted 10 screen 924 cultigens (728 accessions, 136 cultivars and 36 breeding lines of C. sativus, and 24 accessions of C. metuliferus Naud.] for resistance to 3 species of root knot nematodes, M. incognita r. 3, M. arenaria r. 2 and M. hapla, Plants were grown from seed in 150-mm diameter clay pots. Two-week-old seedlings were inoculated with 5000 nematode eggs per plant, then evaluated for resistance 9 weeks later. All cultigens evaluated were resistant to M. hapla. Little resistance was found in the cultigens of C. sativus to M. incognita r. 3 and M. arenaria r. 2. Most of the cultigens evaluated were susceptible to both. `Southern Pickler' was resistant to both nematodes (1 % average galls). `Green Thumb and LJ 90430 were resistant to M. arenaria r. 2, Two check cultigens, `Sumter' and Wis. SMR 18, had an average of more than 50% galls. All C. metuliferus cultigens evaluated were resistant to all root knot nematodes tested. PI 482452 was most resistant (1 % average galls), and PI 482443 was least resistant (5% average galls) of the C. metuliferus cultigens tested.

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Jerry T. Walker

Twenty herb species were exposed to root-knot nematode under greenhouse conditions. The root systems were examined for root gall development and nematode reproduction as an indication of host suitability. The herbs evaluated were balm (Melissa officinalis L.), basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), catnip (Nepeta cataria L.), chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.), coriander (Coriandrum sativium L.), dill (Anethum graveolens L.), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.), hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis L.), lavender (Lavandula augustifolia Mill.), oregano (Origanum vulgare L.), peppermint (Mentha ×piperita L.), rocket-salad (Erurca vesicaria L.), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.), rue (Ruta graveolens L.), sage (Salvia officinalis L.), savory (Satureja hortensis L.), sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana L.), tansy (Tanacetum vulgare L.), thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.), and wormwood (Artemisia absinthium L.). Peppermint, oregano, and marjoram consistently were free of root galls after exposure to initial nematode populations of two or 15 eggs/cm3 of soil medium and were considered resistant. All other herb species developed root galls with accompanying egg masses, classifying them as susceptible or hypersusceptible to root-knot nematode. The highest initial nematode egg density (15 eggs/cm3) significantly decreased dry weights of 14 species. The dry weights of other species were unaffected at these infestation densities after 32- to 42-day exposure.

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Ghazala P. Hashmi, F.A. Hammerschlag, R.N. Huettel and L.R. Krusberg

Somaclonal variation has been reported in many plant species, and several phenotypic and genetic changes, including pathogen and pest resistance, have been described. This study was designed to evaluate somaclonal variation in peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] regenerants in response to the root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood. Regenerants SH-156-1, SH-156-7, SH-156-11, and SH-156-12, derived from `Sunhigh' (susceptible) embryo no. 156, and regenerants RH-30-1, RH-30-2, RH-30-4, RH-30-6, RH-30-7, and RH-30-8, derived from `Redhaven' (moderately resistant) embryo no. 30, were screened in vitro for resistance to the root-knot nematode. Under in vitro conditions, fewest nematodes developed on regenerants SH-156-1 and SH-156-11, `Redhaven', and all `Redhaven' embryo no. 30 regenerants. The most nematodes developed on `Sunhigh', `Sunhigh' seedlings (SHS), and regenerant SH-156-7. Nematodes did not develop on `Nemaguard'. In greenhouse tests, fewer nematodes developed and reproduced on the no. 156-series regenerants than on `Sunhigh'. Under in vitro conditions, significant differences among uninfected (control) regenerants, cultivars, and rootstock `Nemaguard' were observed for shoot height and fresh root weights. Significant differences were also observed among infected regenerants, cultivars, and `Nemaguard' for these characteristics, but differences were not observed between control and infected regenerants. Different concentrations of α-naphthaleneacetic acid in half-strength Murashige and Skoog salt medium induced rooting of two peach cultivars, one rootstock, and four regenerants.

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Min Wang and I.L. Goldman

The root-knot nematode (M. hapla Chitwood) poses a threat to carrot (Daucus carota L.) production in the United States. Little information is available concerning the genetic control of nematode resistance in carrot. Crosses between two inbreds, a resistant genotype (R1) and susceptible genotype (S1) identified in previous screening tests of carrot were studied in the F2 and BC1 generations to determine the heritability of resistance to the root-knot nematode. Seedlings of F2 (R1/S1), BC1S1, and BC1R1 generations were evaluated for their responses to infestation of M. hapla Chitwood based on gall number per root, gall rating per root, and root rating per root in a greenhouse experiment conducted during 1994. Narrow-sense heritabilities were calculated according to the method of Warner (1952). Narrow-sense heritability was 0.16 for resistance based on gall number, 0.88 for resistance based on gall rating, and 0.78 for resistance based on root rating. This information may be of importance to geneticists and carrot breeders for the development of nematode-resistant carrot cultivars.