Submitted to: Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2003
Publication Date: September 1, 2003
Citation: Thies, J.A., Fery, R.L., Mueller, J.D. Development and use of resistant peppers for managing root-knot nematodes [abstract]. Journal of Nematology. 35(3):366. Technical Abstract: Root-knot nematodes (RKN)(Meloidogyne spp.) are major limiting factors to pepper (Capsicum spp.) production globally, and fumigation with methyl bromide (MeBr)is the primary control used by U.S. growers. Pepper production accounts for 12% of MeBr used for pre-plant treatments in the U.S. The proposed 2005 ban of MeBr in the U.S. and loss of other nematicides due to environmental concerns has focused major interest on host resistance to RKN as a viable management alternative to nematicides. Scientists at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, USDA, Charleston, S.C. developed two open-pollinated bell pepper cultivars with RKN resistance conferred by the N gene. These cultivars (Carolina Wonder and Charleston Belle) are the only RKN-resistant bell cultivars available in the U.S., and are being used extensively by commercial pepper breeders as sources of resistance for bell pepper hybrids. Carolina Cayenne, a well-adapted RKN-resistant cayenne-type pepper co-developed by USDA and Clemson University, has proven useful as a rotation crop; susceptible bell peppers grown after Carolina Cayenne exhibited reduced root-galling and greatly enhanced yields. The resistance in Carolina Cayenne is extremely high (equal to MeBr fumigation) and is controlled by the N gene and a recessive gene. Three RKN-resistant Scotch Bonnet-type cultigens (PA-353, PA-398, and PA-426) were recently released by USDA. Resistance of these cultigens is controlled by a gene that is allelic to the N gene. The USDA breeding program is currently using PA-426 as the source of resistance for developing resistant habanero cultivars. Host plant resistance should provide an economical and environmentally compatible alternative to MeBr and other nematicides for managing RKN in commercial pepper plantings.