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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #143538

Title: Creating a short life site for Prunus rootstock evaluation on land with no innate Mesocriconema xenoplax population

item Nyczepir, Andrew
item Okie, William
item Beckman, Thomas

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/23/2003
Publication Date: 2/1/2004
Citation: Nyczepir, A.P., Okie, W.R., Beckman, T.G. 2004. Creating a short life site for Prunus rootstock evaluation on land with no innate Mesocriconema xenoplax population. HortScience. 39(1):124-126.

Interpretive Summary: New alternatives to chemical control (i.e., rootstock resistance) that are less hazardous to man and also more environmentally safe must be found to protect peach trees from the ring nematode, Mesocriconema xenoplax. Finding non-commercial field sites to evaluate rootstocks for peach tree short life disease (PTSL) resistance is becoming increasingly difficult. Information on determining the time needed to create a PTSL test site must be generated. A collaborative experiment was initiated in Byron, Georgia to determine how long it would take to establish a PTSL rootstock evaluation site on land not known to have a history of short life or peach production. Typical PTSL symptoms and tree death (7%) were first observed in the treatment plot that was infested with ring nematode and had peaches planted for 2 years prior to replanting the entire plot back to peaches. Results indicate that it is possible to create a PTSL test site after three years following nematode establishment. These date provide useful insights into the methodology required to create a successful PTSL rootstock evaluation site. Moreover, such information will be useful to breeders and scientists working in the area of PTSL.

Technical Abstract: Peach tree short life (PTSL) is associated with the presence of ring nematode, Mesocriconema xenoplax, and poor management practices. Finding a non-commercial field site to evaluate rootstocks for PTSL resistance is increasingly difficult. The time needed to create a PTSL test site was investigated. In 1994, a site not planted with peaches for more than 80 years was identified in Byron, Georgia. Preplant nematode soil samples revealed no M. xenoplax. One-third of the land was planted to peach and infested with ring nematode in spring 1994 (P2) and another third in spring 1995 (P1). The remaining third of the land received no trees or ring nematode and served as the control (F2). In fall 1995, trees were removed from P1 and P2 and all treatments were replanted to peach in 1996. In 1997, tree death resulting from PTSL only occurred in P2 (7%). By 2000, PTSL tree death reached 41% in P2, 16% in P1, and 4% in the F2 plots. Nematode populations were greatest in P1 (649 ring nematode/100 cc soil) and P2 (300 ring nematode/100 cc soil) and lowest in the F2 (221 ring nematode/100 cc soil) plots. Establishing a PTSL screening site is possible three years after M. xenoplax introduction.