Mentha x piperita, Mentha spicata and Effects of Their Essential Oils on Meloidogyne in Soil


  • J. T. Walker
  • J. B. Melin


Six peppermint (Mentha x piperita) and six spearmint (M. spicata) PI accessions were inoculated with Meloidogyne incognita race 3 and M. arenaria race 2, under greenhouse conditions. No galls formed on roots of any of the plants inoculated with 1,800 eggs/pot. Fewer than two galls per root system formed on three PI accessions of peppermint inoculated with M. incognita at 5,400 eggs/pot. Only one peppermint accession developed galls when inoculated with M. arenaria, whereas none of the spearmint accessions was susceptible to this species. Plant dry weights generally were unaffected by infection with root-knot nematodes at these densities. Growing peppermint and spearmint accessions for 8 or 12 weeks in M. arenaria-infested soil before tomato resulted in 90% reduction of root galls compared with tomato following tomato. Cineole, eugenol, geraniol, linalool, and peppermint oils at 50 and 250 mg oil/kg soil caused no reduction in the number of galls caused by M. arenaria on tomato. At 1,500 mg oil/kg soil, geraniol, eugenol, linalool, and peppermint oils (P =0.05) reduced the number of galls caused by M. arenaria, but the decrease in galling caused by M. incognita was not significant. Geraniol, linalool, and peppermint oil at 1,000 and 1,500 mg were phytotoxic to tomato. Key words: cineole, eugenol, geraniol, linalool, Meloidogyne spp., nematode, peppermint, peppermint oil, root-knot nematode, spearmint.