Relationships Between Tolerance and Resistance to Meloidogyne incognita in Cotton


  • R. F. Davis
  • O. L. May


gossypium hirsutum, meloidogyne incognita, nematode management, southern root-knot nematode


The southern root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita, is the most damaging pathogen of cotton in the United States, and both resistance and tolerance to M. incognita could be valuable management approaches. Our objectives were to evaluate advanced cotton breeding lines for resistance and tolerance to M. incognita and to determine if a relationship between resistance and tolerance exists. Reproduction of M. incognita was evaluated on 17 breeding lines, a susceptible control (Delta and Pine Land DP5415), and a resistant control (M-120) in two greenhouse trials with six replications in a randomized complete block design. Two-week-old seedlings were inoculated with 8,000 M. incognita eggs and assessed for egg production 8 weeks later. Reproduction on the resistant control was only 10% of that on the susceptible control. Eight breeding lines supported 45% to 57% less (P = 0.05) nematode reproduction than the susceptible control, and none of them were as resistant as M-120. Yield was determined in 2001 and 2002 in fumigated (1,3-dichloropropene at 56 liters/ha) and nonfumigated plots in a strip-plot design with three replications in a field naturally infested with M. incognita. Yield suppression caused by nematode infection differed among genotypes (P = 0.05 for genotype X fumigation interaction). Six genotypes in 2001 and nine in 2002 were tolerant to M. incognita based on no difference in yield between the fumigated and nonfumigated plots (P = 0.10). However, only three genotypes had no significant yield suppression in both years, of which two also were resistant to M. incognita. Regression analysis indicated that yield suppression decreased linearly as nematode resistance increased.