Pathological Effects of Pratylenchm neglectus on Wheatgrasses

  • G. D. Griffin


In controlled greenhouse and growth chamber studies, Pratylenchus neglectus reduced dry shoot and dry root weight of rangeland grasses. Greenar intermediate wheatgrass and Secar Snake River wheatgrass were more susceptible to P. neglectus than Hycrest crested wheatgrass, Fairway crested wheatgrass, and Nordan crested wheatgrass at a greenhouse bench temperature of 26 ± 3 C. Hycrest was the most tolerant to parasitism by P. neglectus. An initial nematode inoculum density of four nematodes/cm³ soil reduced dry shoot weights of Hycrest, Fairway, Nordan, Greenar, and Secar by 22%, 33%, 36%, 47%, and 49%, and reduced dry root weights by 26%, 31%, 32%, 38%, and 42%. There was a positive relationship between dry root weight, the nematode inoculum density, and the nematode reproduction index (final nematode population/initial nematode inoculum). However, there were more nematodes/g root tissue on Secar than on the crested wheatgrasses, and significantly more nematodes/g root tissue on Greenar, Fairway, and Nordan than on Hycrest. Pratylenchus neglectus was most pathogenic at four nematodes/cm³ soil at 30 C and least pathogenic at one nematode/cm³ soil at 15 C. Greenar and Secar were more susceptible to the nematode than Hycrest, Fairway, and Nordan at two and four nematodes/cm³ soil at 20 to 30 C. The nematode reproductive indices were greatest at 30 C and were positively correlated with dry root weight. Secar supported the most and Hycrest had the fewest nematodes/g root. Key words: Agropyron cristatum, Agropyron desertorum, crested wheatgrass, Elymus lanceolatus, nematode, reproduction, root weight, shoot weight, snake river wheatgrass, susceptible, temperature, tolerance.