Effects of Pratylenchus penetransand Rhizoctonia fragariaeon Vigor and Yield of Strawberry
AbstractMicroplot and small field-plot experiments were conducted to determine the effects of Pratylenchus penetrans on strawberry yield over several seasons and to evaluate the effects of nematode control on strawberry vigor and yield. Pratylenchus penetrans alone or in combination with the black root rot pathogen, Rhizoctonia fragariae, reduced strawberry yield in microplots over time. There were no differences in effects on yield among R. fragariae anastomosis groups A, G, or I. The interaction of the two pathogens appeared to be additive rather than synergistic. In field plots infested with P. penetrans alone, plant vigor and yield were increased by the application of carbofuran and fenamiphos nematicides. Nematode control was transitory, as P. penetrans populations were initially suppressed but were not different in samples taken 10 months after treatment. These data highlight the error in associating causality between plant damage and nematode populations based on a correlation of root disease with nematode diagnostic assays from severely diseased plants. These findings may help to explain how nematode numbers can sometimes be higher in healthy plants than in severely diseased plants that lack sufficient roots to maintain nematode populations. Because nematode populations from up to a year before harvest are better correlated with berry yield, preplant nematode diagnostic assays taken a year in advance of harvest may be superior in predicting damage to perennial strawberry yield.
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