Submitted to: Nematropica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/29/2010
Publication Date: 6/1/2011
Citation: Nyczepir, A.P. 2011. Host suitability of an endophyte-friendly tall fescue grass to Mesocriconema xenoplax and Pratylenchus vulnus. Nematropica. 41:45-51. Interpretive Summary: Preplant fumigant nematicides have traditionally been used to control root-lesion and ring nematodes in peach in the southeastern United States. Preplant fumigant nematicide in combination with a nematode resistant rootstock (if available) is recommended for increased tree longevity and maximum protection against these 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-lesion and ring nematodes is warranted. Greenhouse studies were initiated to examine the susceptibility of four tall fescue grass cultivars to the root-lesion and ring nematodes. Results indicate that all tall fescue cultivars tested were hosts for ring nematode, but did support reproduction of root-lesion nematode. These data provide useful insights into the potential use of tall fescue grass as an alternative to preplant chemical control of root-lesion nematode prior to peach orchard establishment.
Technical Abstract: Tall fescue grass cultivars with or without endophytes were evaluated for their susceptibility to Mesocriconema xenoplax and Pratylenchus vulnus 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. Nematode reproduction criteria were used in evaluating tall fescue susceptibility. Peach supported greater (P < 0.05) reproduction of P. vulnus and M. xenoplax than all tall fescue cultivars. However, differences in nematode reproduction were not detected among the tall fescue cultivars. All fescue cultivars were either poor or nonhosts for P. vulnus and the endophyte does not appear to effect nematode reproduction. In contrast, M. xenoplax reproduction was detected in all tall fescue cultivars tested. These results provide useful insights into the potential use of tall fescue grass as a preplant groundcover alternative to chemical control of P. vulnus.