Host Plant Resistance as an Alternative to Methyl Bromide for Managing Meloidogyne incognita in Pepper
AbstractPre-plant soil fumigation with methyl bromide and host resistance were compared for managing the southern root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) in pepper. Three pepper cultivars (Carolina Cayenne, Keystone Resistant Giant, and California Wonder) that differed in resistance to M. incognita were grown in field plots that had been fumigated with methyl bromide (98% CH[sub3]Br : 2% CCl[sub3]NO[sub2] [w/w]) before planting or left untreated. Carolina Cayenne is a well-adapted cayenne-type pepper that is highly resistant to M. incognita. The bell-type peppers Keystone Resistant Giant and California Wonder are intermediate to susceptible and susceptible, respectively. None of the cultivars exhibited root galling in the methyl bromide fumigated plots and nematode reproduction was minimal ( 250 eggs/g fresh root), indicating that the fumigation treatment was highly effective in controlling M. incognita. Root galling of Carolina Cayenne and nematode reproduction were minimal, and fruit yields were not reduced in the untreated plots. The root-galling reaction for Keystone Resistant Giant was intermediate (gall index = 2.9, on a scale of 1 to 5), and nematode reproduction was moderately high. However, yields of Keystone Resistant Giant were not reduced in untreated plots. Root galling was severe (gall index = 4.3) on susceptible California Wonder, nematode reproduction was high, and fruit yields were reduced (P = 0.05) in untreated plots. The resistance exhibited by Carolina Cayenne and Keystone Resistant Giant provides an alternative to methyl bromide for reducing yield losses by southern root-knot nematodes in pepper. The high level of resistance of Carolina Cayenne also suppresses population densities of M. incognita.
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