Effect of Plant Age on Resistance of Alfalfa to Meloidogyne hapla

G. D. Griffin, O. J. Hunt


Meloidogyne hapla-resistant plants grown from cuttings and inoculated with M. hapla larvae were free of galls. However, 35 to 48% of the seedling intercross progeny of resistant genotypes that were inoculated in the germinated seed stage were galled. There was an inverse relationship between the age of plants grown from seed and the percentage of plants galled by M. hapla; the older the plants at inoculation, the greater the percentage of gall-free plants. The per cent of galled plants was significantly reduced when galled roots were removed and plants reinoculated. Reproduction of M. hap/,, on galled progeny of resistant plants was significantly less than that on susceptible plants. There were no differences in nematode reproduction on galled progeny of resistant plants, regardless of age at time of inoculation. An in,ease in inoculum levels from 100 to 10,000 M. hapla larvae did not affect resistance or susceptility. There was a direct correlation between galling of inoculated seedlings of resistant progeny and temperature; inoculated 8-week-old cuttings of resistant plants were galled only at 32 C. Key words: selections, temperature.

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