Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2004
Publication Date: 1/2/2008
Citation: Thies, J.A., Dickson, D.W., Fery, R.L. 2008. Stability of Resistance to Root-Knot Nematodes in 'Charleston Belle' and "Carolina Wonder' Bell Peppers in a Sub-Tropical Environment. HortScience. 43:188-190.
Interpretive Summary: The southern root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita, causes severe yield losses to pepper production in sub-tropical climates throughout the world. Bell peppers are a very important crop in sub-tropical areas of the U.S., in particular Florida, where root-knot nematodes are a primary pathogen of vegetable crops. Root-knot nematode resistance is not stable in many crops, including tomato, when grown under high soil temperatures. However, little is known about the stability of root-knot nematode resistance in pepper in hot climates. In field experiments in Florida, we studied the stability of resistance in two root-knot nematode resistant pepper varieties, Charleston Belle and Carolina Wonder. Both varieties were highly resistant to root-knot nematodes and 'Charleston Belle' produced 49% heavier pepper yields than susceptible cultivars. However, the most important finding of these studies is that root-knot nematode resistance in both 'Charleston Belle' and 'Carolina Wonder' was stable under the high soil temperatures that occur in sub-tropical regions.
Technical Abstract: Two root-knot nematode resistant bell pepper cultivars 'Charleston Belle' and 'Carolina Wonder'(Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum] and their susceptible recurrent parents, 'Keystone Resistant Giant' and 'Yolo Wonder B', were compared for managing the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Chitwood) Kofoid and White] in fall and spring trials at Gainesville, FL.In the fall trial, 'Charleston Belle' and 'Carolina Wonder' exhibited minimal root galling and nematode reproduction, and 'Keystone Resistant Giant' and 'Yolo Wonder B' exhibited severe root galling and high nematode reproduction. Fruit yields of 'Charleston Belle were 49% greater than yields of the two susceptible cultivars. In the spring trial, one-half of the plots were treated with methyl bromide before planting the same four bell pepper cultivars. 'Keystone Resistant Giant' and 'Yolo Wonder B' grown in untreated control plots exhibited severe root galling and high nematode reproduction, but the other six cultivar x methyl bromide combinations exhibited minimal root galling and nematode reproduction. These results demonstrate that root-knot nematode resistant cultivars such as 'Charleston Belle' and 'Carolina Wonder' are a viable alternative to methyl bromide for managing southern root-knot nematode in bell pepper in sub-tropical environments.