Submitted to: Horticultural International Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 25, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The southern root-knot nematode is a major pest of bell peppers, and the principal control method in the U.S. is soil fumigation with methyl bromide. The ideal solution to this pest problem would be the use of resistant cultivars, but none of the cultivars heretofore available to U.S. growers has exhibited adequate resistance. In the early 1980's, efforts were initiated to backcross a resistance gene (N) into the popular bell- type cultivars Keystone Resistant Giant and Yolo Wonder B. These efforts resulted in the release of the southern root-knot nematode resistant cultivars Charleston Belle and Carolina Wonder. The yield and fruit characteristics of Charleston Belle and Carolina Wonder are nearly identical to those of Keystone Resistant Giant and Yolo Wonder B, respectively. The new cultivars have exhibited a high level of resistance in all glasshouse and field tests; the numbers of galls and egg masses on the roots have always been minimal. Results of controlled environment tests indicate that the N gene is effective at a wide range of soil temperatures (24 to 32 C). In light of the future restrictions on the use of methyl bromide in the U.S., the development of resistant cultivars is critical for continued production of bell peppers in areas where soils are infested with southern root-knot nematodes.