Submitted to: Nematropica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/5/2008
Publication Date: 6/30/2008
Citation: Walters, S.A., Bond, J., Russell, J., Taylor, B., Handoo, Z.A. 2008. Incidence and influence of plant-parasitic nematodes in southern Illinois peach orchards. Nematropica. 38(1):63-74. Interpretive Summary: Nematodes are microscopic worms that cause an estimated 10 billion dollars of crop losses each year in the United States. One problem with determining the extent of nematode damage to crop plants is that the nematodes present in many areas are not known, such as in the case of peach orchards in Illinois. Therefore, scientists from Southern Illinois University and ARS surveyed peach orchards in southern Illinois to determine the frequency, distribution, numbers, and the impact of economically important nematode species present. This research revealed the presence of 11 different economically important species of plant nematodes; spiral, ring, pin, and dagger nematodes were the most frequently encountered groups. The results are significant because they indicate that root-knot, ring, lesion, and dagger nematodes occur at population levels that can limit peach production in southern Illinois. Therefore, this research will be used by extension personnel to aid growers in planning cropping systems involving peach, and by researchers planning future research on the management of nematodes of peach.
Technical Abstract: The frequency, distribution and impact of plant-parasitic nematodes in southern Illinois peach orchards were determined. Nine plant parasitic nematode genera were detected comprising 11 different species: Helicotylenchus platyurus, Helicotylenchus pseudorobustus, Hoplolaimus spp., Meloidogyne spp., Mesocriconema xenoplax (syn. Criconemoides xenoplax), Paratylenchus dianthus, Paratylenchus projectus, Pratylenchus penetrans, Pratylenchus vulnus, Tylenchorhynchus annulatus, Tylenchorhynchus claytoni, Tylenchus hamatus and Xiphinema americanum. Generally, Helicotylenchus, Mesocriconema, Paratylenchus, and Xiphinema were found at the highest densities. In a Prunus rootstock evaluation, growth and yield reductions of the scion ‘Redhaven’ depended on the rootstock and were associated with nematode population densities. Xiphinema populations were most closely linked to reductions in ‘Redhaven’ fruit yield and plant growth across a wide range of rootstocks. However, in southern Illinois, Mesocriconema xenoplax has occasionally been highly destructive requiring removal of peach orchards due to severe tree debilitation and low yields. Our results indicate that Meloidogyne, Mesocriconema, Pratylenchus, and Xiphinema maintain populations that can limit peach production in southern Illinois.