Submitted to: Nematropica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/21/2011
Publication Date: 6/1/2012
Citation: Donald, P.A., Heinz, R., Bernard, E., Hershman, D., Hensley, D., Flint Garcia, S.A., Joost, R. 2012. Distribution host status and potential sources of resistance to Vittatidera zeaphila. Nematropica. 42:91-95. Interpretive Summary: A new cyst nematode attacking corn roots and causing stunted plants was found in northwestern Tennessee in 2006. The nematode matches an undescribed species found reproducing on goosegrass in a commercial tomato field in a neighboring county in the 1978. The nematode was described in 2010 as Vittatidera zeaphila . Research was initiated to determine if this nematode was a threat to Midwest corn production. To determine if there was a threat, soil samples from corn fields in Tennessee and Kentucky were sampled for the presence of the nematode. The nematode was found in two fields in Obion County, Tennessee and one field in Hickman County, Kentucky in this study plus the 1978 finding in Lauderdale County, TN. This nematode to date was not found to be distributed widely. Plants which are known hosts of other cyst nematodes and relatives of corn were tested to determine if they were hosts for this new nematode. Corn and goosegrass were found to be good hosts. Other plants did not support high reproduction of the nematode and thus the known host range is narrow. Preliminary research on a sample of corn lines from around the world indicates that resistance is present in corn, but the inheritance of resistance may be complicated.
Technical Abstract: Vittatidera zeaphila was described from stunted Zea mays (corn) roots collected in northwestern Tennessee (Obion County) in 2006. Similar cyst specimens had previously been collected in 1978 from Lauderdale County, TN, on Eleusine indica (goosegrass). Comparison of the 1978 specimens deposited in the USDA Nematology Collection at Beltsville, MD, and the 2006 specimens verified that they were identical. The purpose of this research was to determine the distribution of this nematode, determine the host range and determine if there was resistance which could be incorporated into commercial corn hybrids in the event the nematode was a threat to Midwest corn production. This nematode is known only from the 1978 site in Lauderdale County, TN and the two findings in Obion County, Tennessee and a field in Hickman County, Kentucky from this study. Zea mays and E. indica were the only plants supporting increase of this nematode and were good hosts, with Rf values of 6 or more. Nonhosts included common dicotyledous plants that are known hosts of cyst nematodes, a range of native grasses, and teosinte. Preliminary data on potential sources of resistance to V. zeaphila suggest that resistance is not a dominant trait and that there is a potential role of the cytoplasm in conferring resistance.