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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Host status of endophyte-infected and noninfected tall fescue grass to Meloidogyne spp.

item Nyczepir, Andrew
item Meyer, Susan

Submitted to: Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2010
Publication Date: 6/1/2010
Publication URL:
Citation: Nyczepir, A.P., Meyer, S.L. 2010. Host status of endophyte-infected and noninfected tall fescue grass to Meloidogyne spp. Journal of Nematology. 42(2):151-158.

Interpretive Summary: Preplant fumigant nematicides have traditionally been used to control root-knot and ring nematodes in peach in the southeastern United States. Preplant fumigant nematicides in combination with a nematode resistant rootstock are recommended for increased tree longevity and maximum protection against ring and root-knot nematodes. However, in recent years growers have been faced with economic hardships which made it difficult to afford the costs associated with preplant fumigation and (or) not being able to get the land fumigated at the recommended time of year due to a conflict with managing other crops. Finding a nonchemical alternative to preplant chemical control of root-knot nematodes is warranted. Greenhouse studies were initiated to examine the susceptibility of tall fescue grass lines to the Southern root-knot nematode (BY & GA-peach isolates), Peanut root-knot nematode, Javanese root-knot nematode, and Northern root-knot nematode. Results indicate that all fescue lines tested were either poor or nonhosts for the Southern root-knot nematode. An initial test evaluating Max-Q tall fescue for susceptibility to the Northern root-knot nematode indicated that Max-Q did not support nematode reproduction compared to the control treatment These data provide useful insights into the potential use of tall fescue grass as an alternative to preplant chemical control of root-knot nematode prior to peach orchard establishment.

Technical Abstract: Tall fescue grass cultivars with or without endophytes were evaluated for their susceptibility to Meloidogyne incognita in the greenhouse. Tall fescue cultivars evaluated included, i) wild-type Jesup (E+, ergot-producing endophyte present), ii) endophyte-free Jesup (E-, no endophyte present), iii) Jesup (Max-Q, non-ergot producing endophyte) and iv) Georgia 5 (E+). Peach (susceptible Lovell rootstock) was included as the control. Peach supported greater (P < 0.05) reproduction of M. incognita than all tall fescue cultivars. Differences in reproduction were not detected among the tall fescue cultivars and all cultivars were rated as either poor or nonhosts for M. incognita. Suppression of M. incognita reproduction was not influenced by endophyte status. In two other greenhouse experiments, Jesup (Max-Q) was rated as a nonhost for M. incognita (BY-peach isolate and GA-peach isolate) and M. hapla, a poor host for M. javanica and a good host for M. arenaria. Additionally, host susceptibility of Jesup (Max-Q) to Meloidogyne spp. did not appear to be related root endophyte status, but nematode species was related to host status. Jesup (Max-Q) tall fescue may have potential as a preplant control strategy for M. incognita and M. hapla in southeastern and northeastern United States, respectively.

Last Modified: 06/28/2017
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