Relationship Between Population Densities of Pratylenchus penetrans and Crop Losses in Flue-Cured Tobacco in Ontario

Th. H. A. Olthof, C. F. Marks, J. M. Elliot


Flue-cured tobacco was grown in microplots consisting of concrete drainage tries, 40-cm (i.d.), infested with 0; 666 ; 2000; 6000 or 18,000 root-lesion nematodes, Pratylenchus penetrans/kg of soft. Yield and grade index decreased with preplant soil population densities in excess of 2000/kg of soil. At initial densities of 6000 and 18,000/kg of soil losses in crop returns were 11.0% and 27.5%, respectively. Decreases in the maturity index and in percentage dry stalk weight with increasing densities showed that the nematode delayed maturity. Increases in population densities of nematodes were correlated with decreases in weights of tops and roots and in plant height. All final population densities in soil were lower than the initial densities except at the lowest pre-plant density. All soil populations at midseason were lower than those at the beginning and end of the growing season. Populations of P. penetrans at harvest were in excess of half a million per root system with the 18,000/kg initial soil population density. The results suggest that fumigation, which costs $75/ha, or approximately 2% of the crop value, is economically warranted at preplant densities in excess of 2000/kg of soft. Key Words: Nicotiana tabaeum, microplots.

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