The Development and Influence of Meloidogyne incognita and M. javanica on Wheat

  • P. A. Roberts
  • S. D. Van Gundy


The effects of soil temperature and initial inoculum density (Pi) of Meloidogyne incognito and M. javanica on growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Anza) and nematode reproduction were studied in controlled temperature baths in the glasshouse. Nematode reproduction was directly proportional to temperature between 14 and 30 C for M. incognito and between 18 and 26 C for M. javanica. Reproduction rates (Pf/Pi, where Pf = final number of eggs) for Pi's of 3,000, 9,000, and 30,000 eggs/plant were greatest at each temperature when Pi = 3,000. Maximum M. incognita reproduction rate (Pf/Pi = 51.12) was at 30 C. At 26 C, M. javanica reproduction (Pf/Pi = 14.82, 9.02, and 4.23 for Pi = 3,000, 9,000, and 30,000, respectively) was about half that of M. incognita when Pi = 3,000 or 9,000 but similar when Pi = 30,000. Reproduction of both species was depressed between 14 and 18 C. Shoot and root growth and head numbers were inversely related to soil temperature between 14 and 30 C but were not affected by the Pi of M. incognito when 7 d old seedlings were inoculated. When newly germinated seedlings were inoculated with M. incognito or M. javanica, the Pi did not affect shoot and root fresh weights, shoot/root ratio, and tillering, but it did reduce root dry weight (M. javanica at 26 C) and increase shoot dry weight (M. incognita at 18-22 C). The optimum temperature range is lower for wheat growth than for nematode reproduction. Wheat cv. Anza is a good host for M. incognito and M. javanica, but it is tolerant to both species. Key words: temperature, root-knot nematodes, tolerance, population dynamics.