Interaction of Endomycorrhizal Fungi, Superphosphate, and Meloidogyne incognita on Cotton in Microplot and Field Studies


  • G. S. Smith
  • R. W. Roncadori
  • R. S. Hussey


Microplot and field experiments were conducted to determine the effects of two vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi, Glomus intraradices (Gi) and Gigaspora margarita (Gm), and dicalcium phosphate (P) on Meloidogyne incognita (Mi) reproduction and seed cotton yield of the Mi-susceptible cotton cultivar, Stoneville 213. In 1983 population densities of Mi juveniles were significantly lower 60 and 90 days after planting in microplots receiving Gi. Mycorrhizal fungi reduced the severity of yield losses to Mi, whereas P fertilization increased yield losses to Mi. In 1984 microplot yields were reduced linearly as nematode inoculum densities increased in treatments of Mi alone, Gm, or P, but the response was curvilinear with Gi. Yield suppressions in the 1984 field experiment occurred only in plots infested with Mi alone. In the 1984 microplots, numbers of Mi juveniles penetrating seedling roots increased Iinearly with increasing nematode inoculum densities and was favored when mycorrhizal fungi or superphosphate were added. Juvenile penetration of roots was negatively correlated with yields in all treatments (r = -0.54 to -0.81) except Gm and with number of bolls in Mi alone (r = -0.85) and P (r = -0.81) treatments. Mycorrhizal fungi can increase host tolerance to M. incognita in field conditions and may function as important biological control agents in soils infested with high population densities of efficient VAM species. Key words: biocontrol, endomycorrhizae, interaction, Meloidogyne incognita, root-knot nematode, microplots.