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Judy A. Thies and Richard L. Fery

Several species of root-knot nematodes [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood, M. arenaria (Neal) Chitwood, M. javanica (Treub) Chitwood, and M. hapla Chitwood] are major pests of peppers (Capsicum spp.) in the United States and worldwide. Resistance to M. incognita, M. arenaria, and M. javanica has been identified in several Capsicum accessions, but there are few reports of resistance to M. hapla. Therefore, we selected a 10% core (440 accessions) of the 14 available Capsicum spp. in the Capsicum germplasm collection (3,731 accessions) maintained by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), and evaluated this core for resistance to M. hapla in unreplicated greenhouse tests. The 11 best (most resistant) and the 3 worst (most susceptible) accessions identified in these unreplicated tests were re-evaluated in a replicated greenhouse test. Seven of these 11 “best” accessions (PI 357613, PI 357503, PI 439381, PI 297493, PI 430490, PI 267729, and PI 441676) exhibited root gall severity indices <5.0 (1 = no galls; 9 = more than 80% of the root system covered with galls) in the replicated test, and each of these indices was significantly lower than the indices of the “worst” accessions and susceptible controls. Although a gall index <5.0 indicates a moderate level of resistance, more than 3000 M. hapla eggs were extracted per gram of fresh root tissue and the reproductive index was >1.0 for each of these accessions. These observations suggest that the most resistant accessions tested are somewhat susceptible to M. hapla. The results of our evaluation of a core of the USDA Capsicum germplasm collection demonstrates clearly that there is significant genetic variability within the overall collection for M. hapla resistance. Additionally, these results identify portions of the collection where future evaluations for M. hapla resistance should be focused. For example, the origin of the two most promising C. annuum accessions (PI 357613 and PI 357503) in the core was Yugoslavia. Thus, additional accessions from this temperate region of the world should receive priority attention in any effort to identify better sources of resistance in C. annuum to M. hapla.

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Kathryn E. Brunson, Sharad C. Phatak, J. Danny Gay and Donald R. Sumner

Velvetbean (Mucuna deeringiana L.) has been used as part of the crop rotation in low-input vegetable production in southern Georgia to help suppress populations of root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) for the past 2 years. Over-wintering cover crops of crimson and subterranean clovers were used the low-input plots and rye was the plow-down cover crop in the conventional plots. Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant were the vegetable crops grown in these production systems. Following the final harvest in 1992, use of nematicides in the low-input plots was discontinued and velvetbean was then planted into the low-input plots and disked in after 90 days. Results from the 1993–94 soil samples taken before and after velvetbean showed a continuing trend of reduced nematode numbers where velvetbean had been, while most conventional plots that had nematicides applied resulted in increases in nematode populations.

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Anne M. Gillen and Fredrick A. Bliss

Peach rootstock breeding may be accelerated by utilization of molecular markers linked to the root-knot nematode resistance locus (Mi) to screen segregating populations. A genetic linkage map was constructed using RFLP markers in an F2 population (PMP2) that is segregating for this locus. PMP2 is derived from a controlled cross of the relatively diverse peach rootstocks Harrow Blood (susceptible) and Okinawa (homozygous resistant). Bulked Segregant Analysis was applied using RAPD markers. A single small (227 base pairs) RAPD marker was found to be linked to the dominant resistant allele of Mi at a distance of 10 cM. This new marker joined the Mi locus to the RFLP linkage map and showed that two dominant RFLP markers are located between the RAPD marker and Mi. RFLPS are expensive, time-consuming and RAPD markers are unreliable, and therefore both are unsuitable for screening breeding populations. We attempted to convert the RAPD marker to a more breeder-friendly CAPS marker. The converted CAP marker was dominant. Attempts to convert the CAP marker to a co-dominant marker were not successful. The utility of the CAP marker was tested in an open pollinated F2 population derived from the F1 parent of PMP2 and in several rootstocks. The genetic linkage map was compared to other Prunus maps. The PMP2 linkage group containing the Mi locus can be related to the peach × almond linkage group which contains the phosphoglucomutase Pgm-1 locus.

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S. Alan Walters and Todd C. Wehner

Root-knot caused by Meloidogyne spp. is the primary disease of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) in North Carolina, causing an annual yield loss of approximately 12 %. All cucumber cultivars we have tested are resistant to M. hapla, but none are resistant to any of the four important nematodes found on cucumber in North Carolina: M. incognita, M. arenaria races 1 and 2, and M. javanica. However, we are preparing to release three cucumber inbreds with resistance to four out of five of those nematodes. `Marion' (NC-44), `Shelby' (NC-45), and `Lucia' (NC-46) are high yielding, monoecious pickling cucumber inbreds that have resistance to M. arenaria races 1 and 2, M. javanica, and M. hapla. Length: diameter ratio was 3.4, 3.0, 3.9 for `Marion', `Shelby', `Lucia' (`Calypso' was 2.9 in the same trial), respectively. Thus, different length requirements for the pickling industry can be met with the three cultivars. Based on the 1995 North Carolina stage 1 pickle trial, performance (as % of `Calypso') for `Marion', `Shelby', and `Lucia' respectively was 79%, 94%, and 115% for total fruit number/ha; 71%, 96%, and 113% for marketable fruit number/ha; and 102%, 84%, and 97% for fruit quality rating. Therefore, nematode resistant cultivars are available that match the performance of the gynoecious hybrid check cultivar for the region.

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R. Fernández-Muñoz, J. Gragera, M.C. Rodríguez, G. Espárrago, J.A. González, M. Báguena, C.L. Encina, A. Rodríguez and J. Cuartero

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Carolina Fernández, Jorge Pinochet, Daniel Esmenjaud, George Salesses and Antonio Felipe

New Prunus rootstocks and selections were evaluated for their reaction to Meloidogyne arenaria (Neal) Chitwood, M. incognita (Kofoid & White Chitwood), or M. javanica (Treub) Chitwood. Most of the clones were peach-almond hybrids (P-AHs) [P. persica (L.) Batsch × P. dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb] or plums of Spanish and French origin. In a first experiment, the P-AH Hansen 2-168 and plums GF-31 (P. cerasifera Ehr.) and GF 8-1 (P. cerasifera × P. munsoniana Weigth et Hedr.) were highly resistant to the mixture of five isolates of M. javanica. The P-AHs Barrier and Titan × Nemared were resistant and moderately resistant, respectively; GF-677, MB 3-13, MB 2-2, and MB 2-6 were susceptible. In the second and third experiment, the plums P 1079, P 2175, the hybrids Afgano (P. dasycarpa Ehrh.), G × N No 22, and G × N No 15, both P-AHs, and Nemared peach were highly resistant to mixtures of five isolates of M. incognita or M. arenaria. The plums P 2980 (P. cerasifera) and GF 8-1 tested against either root-knot species were also highly resistant. Cachirulo × (G × N No 9), a P-AH, showed less resistance to M. arenaria than to M. incognita. Montclar (P. persica) and the P-AHs Torrents AC and GF-677 were susceptible to both species.

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Jack Pinkerton and Chad E. Finn

The relative susceptibility of 44 genotypes of wild Fragaria L. and commercial cultivars of strawberry Fragaria ×ananassa Duch. to Meloidogyne hapla Chitwood and Pratylenchus penetrans (Cobb) Filipjev & Shuurmans Stekhoven was evaluated in the greenhouse. Eleven genotypes were highly resistant to populations of M. hapla from Washington State and Oregon, with Rf values (initial nematode density/final population density) less than 0.5. However, root growth of most genotypes, including resistant genotypes, was reduced by M. hapla. Thirteen genotypes were ranked more resistant to P. penetrans than F. ×ananassa `Totem', a susceptible cultivar. Root growth of most genotypes was not affected by P. penetrans under these experimental conditions. We conclude that commercial cultivars and wild Fragaria genotypes can provide a readily exploitable source of resistance to M. hapla. Conversely, sources of resistance to P. penetrans were uncommon in the germplasm evaluated. The F. ×ananassa cultivars, which already have commercially important characteristics, appear to be a better source of resistance for both nematode species than the wild, unimproved germplasm.

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Yan Chen, Donald Merhaut and J. Ole Becker

Nitrogen (N) fertilization is critical for successful production of cut flowers in a hydroponic system. In this study, two sunflower cultivars: single-stand `Mezzulah' and multi-stand `Golden Cheer' were grown under two N fertilization rates: 50 mg·L-1 and 100 mg·L-1 in a recirculating hydroponic system. At the same time, `Mezzulah' sunflowers were biologically stressed by exposing each plant to 2000 second-stage juveniles of the plant parasitic nematode Meloidogyne incognita, race 1. The experiment was conducted in May and repeated in Sept. 2004, and plant growth and flower quality between control and nematode-infested plants were compared at the two N rates. The two cultivars responded differently to fertilization treatments. With increasing N rate, the dry weight of `Mezzulah' increased, while that of `Golden Cheer' decreased. Flower size and harvest time were significantly different between the two cultivars. However, N had no effect on flower quality and harvest time. Flower quality rating suggests that quality cut stems can be obtained with 50 mg·L-1 N nutrient solution. Nematode egg count suggests that plants in the nematode treatment were successfully infested with Meloidogyne incognita, however, no significant root galling was observed, and plant growth and flower quality were not affected by nematode infestation.