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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Double-Cropping Cucumbers and Squash after Resistant Bell Pepper for Root-Knot Nematode Management

Authors
item Thies, Judy
item Davis, Richard
item Mueller, John - CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
item Fery, Richard
item Langston, David - UNIVERISTY OF GEORGIA
item Miller, Gilbert - SC COUNTY EXTENSION

Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 5, 2003
Publication Date: June 10, 2004
Citation: Thies, J.A., Davis, R.F., Mueller, J.D., Fery, R.L., Langston, D.B., Miller, G. 2004. Double-cropping cucumbers and squash after resistant bell pepper for root-knot nematode management. Plant Disease. 88(6):589-593.

Interpretive Summary: Vegetable growers often grow a fall crop of cucumbers or squash after a spring crop such as tomatoes or peppers, without preparing the land again. This "double-cropping" method saves time and money because the same plastic mulch and drip irrigation tape are used for two crops instead of one. One problem is that root-knot nematodes may develop in the soil when the spring crop is grown and these nematodes can easily attack the young seedlings of the fall-planted crop. In these studies, a root-knot nematode resistant bell pepper variety (Charleston Belle) was planted as a spring crop to control southern root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita) in fall-cropped cucumber and yellow squash in South Carolina and Georgia. The highly resistant `Charleston Belle' reduced the development of root-knot nematodes in the soil, whereas its susceptible parent bell pepper, `Keystone Resistant Giant', allowed the development of very large numbers of root-knot nematodes. In the autumn, cucumber plants grown in the same soil where the resistant `Charleston Belle' had grown, produced 87% larger cucumber yields than cucumbers planted in soil where the susceptible bell pepper `Keystone Resistant Giant' had grown. In a second study, squash yields were 55% larger in soils previously planted to `Charleston Belle' than to `Keystone Resistant Giant'. These results demonstrate that root-knot nematode resistant bell pepper cultivars such as `Charleston Belle' will be useful for managing root-knot nematodes in double-cropped cucumber and squash.

Technical Abstract: The root-knot nematode resistant `Charleston Belle' pepper (Capsicum annuum) and its susceptible recurrent parent, `Keystone Resistant Giant' were compared as spring crops for managing southern root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita) in fall-cropped cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and squash (Cucurbita pepo) at Blackville, S.C. and Tifton, Ga. `Charleston Belle' was highly resistant; root galling and nematode reproduction were minimal at both test sites. `Keystone Resistant Giant' was highly susceptible; root galling was severe and nematode reproduction was high at both test sites. Cucumber plants grown in plots following the resistant cultivar Charleston Belle had lower (P<0.001) root gall severity indices than the susceptible `Keystone Resistant Giant'(4.2 vs. 4.9, respectively). Cucumber yields were 87% heavier (P<0.0001) and fruit numbers were 85% higher (P<0.0001) in plots previously planted to `Charleston Belle' than to `Keystone Resistant Giant'. Squash plants grown in plots following the `Charleston Belle' had lower (P<0.001) root gall severity indices than the susceptible `Keystone Resistant Giant' (4.0 vs. 4.8, respectively). Squash yields were 55% heavier (P<0.01) and fruit numbers were 50% higher (P<0.001) in plots previously planted to `Charleston Belle' than to `Keystone Resistant Giant'. These results demonstrate that root-knot nematode resistant bell pepper cultivars such as `Charleston Belle' will be useful tools for managing M. incognita in double-cropping systems with cucurbit crops.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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