Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The southern root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) causes major yield losses to pepper production in the U.S. and worldwide. In the past, nematicides were the primary method used to control root-knot nematodes in pepper and other high value vegetable crops. However, the loss of many nematicides from the market due to environmental concerns and high costs of pesticide re-registration has focused attention on the development of alternative methods for managing plant-parasitic nematodes. We demonstrated that planting a root-knot nematode resistant pepper greatly reduced the numbers of nematodes present in the soil. In fact, when root-knot nematode susceptible bell peppers were planted following the resistant cultivar, Carolina Cayenne, the bell peppers produced nearly 3 times the yield compared to bell peppers planted following a susceptible cayenne pepper. These results indicate that resistant pepper cultivars can provide a useful rotation crop for reducing root-knot nematode populations in fields used for vegetable crop production.
Technical Abstract: A three-year field study was conducted at Blackville, SC to evaluate the potential of using resistant pepper cultivars as a rotation crop for managing the southern root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita). The experimental design was a randomized complete block with treatments assigned in a split- plot. In 1993, the entire experimental site was infested with M. incognita by inoculating a planting of susceptible PA-136 cayenne pepper with eggs of M. incognita race 3. In 1994, the main plots were planted to either highly resistant 'Carolina Cayenne' or its susceptible sibling line PA-136. In 1995, 'Carolina Cayenne' and the susceptible bell cultivars California Wonder and Keystone Resistant Giant were grown as sub-plots in each of the original main plots. 'Carolina Cayenne' plants were unaffected by the previous crop. Previous cropping history, however, had significant impact on the performance of the bell cultivars, e.g., the mean galling response was less (P<0.05) and the yield was 2.8 times greater (P<0.05) in the main plots previously cropped with 'Carolina Cayenne' than in those previously cropped with PA-136. These results suggest that resistant pepper cultivars have considerable merit as a rotation crop for managing M. incognita infestations in soils used for growing high value vegetables.