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P. D. Dukes and Janice R. Bohac

There are four known physiological races of the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood]. Races are designated I through 4 and their identifications are based soley on differential hosts. These race problems as related to breeding sweetpotato for resistance to attack by all races are reviewed and discussed. Data are presented showing the reactions of selected cultivar and breeding clones of sweetpotato to all four races. The reactions of races 1 and 3 are generally well—known. Races 2 and 4 apparently are spreading and becoming more numerous in the southern states where soybean and tobacco are grown. Comparative disease indices are presented showing that generally sweetpotatoes were less susceptible to races 2 and 4. However, there were some notable exceptions, for example, `Sulfur' and `Beauregard' were equally susceptible to all races. High resistances to attack by races 2 and 4 were found in `Sumor', `Nemagold', `Excel', W-241 and others.

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P. D. Dukes, J. R. Bohac and J. D. Mueller

A root-knot nematode (Meloldogyne incognita) project was initiated in a field of infested sandy loam (EREC) in 1991 and continued. There were ten sweetpotato entries consisting of six cultivars (Beauregard. Excel, Georgia Jet, Jewel, Red Jewel, and Sumor), three advanced lines (W-270, W-274, and W-279) and PI 399161 which were selected for their diversity in disease reactions and other traits. Each entry was planted in the same plots each year to monitor effects of continuous cropping, disease reactions, yield and population shifts of the pathogen. Marketable yields were reduced each year for Georgia Jet and Red Jewel, but not for Beauregard. Internal necrosis in the storage roots was most severe for Beauregard. Several of the highly resistant entries, especially Sumor and W-279, performed well each year, including high yields, good quality. and little or no nematode reproduction. This study demonstrates the considerable economic benefits of a high level of durable resistance to root knot in sweetpotato.

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J.C. Cervantes-Flores, G.C. Yencho and E.L. Davis

Five sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] cultivars (`Beauregard', `Excel', `Jewel', `Hernandez', and `Porto Rico') were evaluated for resistance to three root-knot nematode species: Meloidogyne arenaria (Neal) Chitwood (race 2), M. incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood (race 3), and M. javanica (Treub) Chitwood. Resistance screening efficiency was assessed in both 400-cm3 square pots and 150-cm3 Conetainers™. Nematode infection was assessed as the percentage of root system galled, percentage of root system necrosis, and the number of nematode eggs produced per gram of root tissue. Means of these dependent variables were not different (P ≤ 0.05) between container types, with Conetainers™ being more efficient to use. Root necrosis was not related to nematode infection, but was significant among cultivars (P = 0.0005). The resistance responses of the cultivars differed depending on the nematode species. All five cultivars were resistant to M. arenaria race 2. `Hernandez', `Excel', and `Jewel' were also resistant to M. incognita race 3 and M. javanica.

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Judy A. Thies, Amnon Levi, Jennifer J. Ariss and Richard L. Hassell

The Agriculture Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, announces the release of ‘RKVL-318’, a novel germplasm line useful as a rootstock and as a genetic resource for enhancing resistance to root-knot nematodes (RKNs) in watermelon

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G.E. Brust and W.D. Scott

Nine treatments, arranged in a RCB design with 4 replications on 20m rows/plot, were all soiled applied and incorporated under black polyethylene mulch, prior to planting. The treatments were: methyl bromide (MB) 98 and 67 & chloropicrin at 168 kgha-1, metham sodium at 17 & 34 1ha-1, oxamyl at 1.6 & 3.21 1ha-1, fosthiazate 6.5 & 13 kgha-1, and a control. Four week-old `Crimson Sweet' watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) transplants were established 3 weeks after chemical applications were made. Soil samples were taken in the plastic row-middle, plastic edge, 30 cm off the plastic edge and 15, 30 & 45 cm deep at each sampling location 3 and 6 weeks after transplanting. The presence of Root-knot Nematode, RKN, (Meloidogyne spp.) was established by using `Mountain Pride' tomato as a bioassay. Fruit size and total yield were recorded and the economic return for each control practice calculated. The 1.6 1ha-1 oxamyl plots yielded 6,832 kgha-1 more than the control which corresponds to a return of $183 for the investment of that control. The 3.2 1ha-1 plots had a yield increase of 7,728 kgha-1 and a return of $103, followed by, in order of yield response, 17 1ha-1 Metham plots, 18,592 kgha-1 & $498, 34 1ha-1 Metham plots, 25,872 & $693, MB 67 plots, 35,952 kgha-1 & $752, and MB 98 plots, 37,072 kgha-1 & $851.

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J.A. Thies, J.D. Mueller and R.L. Fery

A 3-year field study was conducted at Blackville, S.C., to evaluate the potential of using resistant pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) cultivars as a rotation crop for managing the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid and White) Chitwood]. The experiment was a split-plot with main plots arranged in a randomized complete-block design. In 1993, the entire experimental site was infested with M. incognita by inoculating a planting of susceptible PA-136 cayenne pepper with eggs of M. incognita race 3. In 1994, the main plots were planted to either highly resistant `Carolina Cayenne' or its susceptible sibling line PA-136. In 1995, `Carolina Cayenne' and the susceptible bell cultivars California Wonder and Keystone Resistant Giant were grown as subplots in each of the original main plots. `Carolina Cayenne' plants were unaffected by the previous crop. Previous cropping history, however, had a significant impact on the performance of the bell cultivars; the mean galling response was less (P < 0.01) and the yield was 2.8 times greater (P < 0.01) in the main plots previously cropped with `Carolina Cayenne' than in those previously cropped with PA-136. These results suggest that resistant pepper cultivars have considerable merit as a rotation crop for managing M. incognita infestations in soils used for growing high-value vegetables.

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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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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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J.A. Thies, J.D. Mueller and R.L. Fery

The southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood] is a serious pest of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). Currently, methyl bromide is used for nematode control, but the pending withdrawal of this fumigant from the United States market has resulted in a need for effective alternative root-knot nematode management measures. We evaluated the effectiveness of resistance of `Carolina Cayenne' relative to the susceptible genotypes `Early Calwonder' and PA-136 in greenhouse, microplot, and field studies. In all tests, `Carolina Cayenne' exhibited exceptionally high resistance (minimal galling, minimal nematode reproduction, and no yield reduction) to M. incognita; `Early Calwonder' and PA-136 were highly susceptible. In a test conducted in a heavily infested field, `Carolina Cayenne' outyielded PA-136 by 339%. The exceptionally high resistance exhibited by `Carolina Cayenne' provides an alternative to methyl bromide and other fumigant nematicides for managing root-knot nematodes in pepper.

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J.C. Cervantes-Flores, G.C. Yencho and E.L. Davis

Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] genotypes were evaluated for resistance to North Carolina root-knot nematode populations: Meloidogyne arenaria (Neal) Chitwood races 1 and 2; M. incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood races 1, 2, 3, and 4; and M. javanica (Treub) Chitwood. Resistance screening was conducted using 150-cm3 Conetainers containing 3 sand: 1 soil mix. Nematode infection and reproduction were assessed as the number of egg masses produced by root-knot nematodes per root system. Host suitability for the root-knot nematode populations differed among the 27 sweetpotato genotypes studied. Five genotypes (`Beauregard', L86-33, PDM P6, `Porto Rico', and `Pelican Processor') were selected for further study based on their differential reaction to the different root-knot nematodes tested. Two African landraces (`Tanzania' and `Wagabolige') were also selected because they were resistant to all the nematode species tested. The host status was tested against the four original M. incognita races, and an additional eight populations belonging to four host races, but collected from different geographical regions. The virulence of root-knot nematode populations of the same host race varied among and within sweetpotato genotypes. `Beauregard', L86-33, and PDM P6 were hosts for all 12 M. incognita populations, but differences in the aggressiveness of the isolates were observed. `Porto Rico' and `Pelican Processor' had different reactions to the M. incognita populations, regardless of the host race. Several clones showed resistance to all M. incognita populations tested. These responses suggest that different genes could be involved in the resistance of sweetpotato to root-knot nematodes. The results also suggest that testing Meloidogyne populations against several different sweetpotato hosts may be useful in determining the pathotypes affecting sweetpotato.