Citrus Tree Decline Caused by Pratylenchus coffeae

J. H. O'Bannon, A. T. Tomerlin


The pathogenic effects of Pratylenchus coffeae on growth and yield of tangelo (Citrus paradisi × C. reticulata) scions grafted on rough lemon (C jambhiri), sour orange (C. aurantium) and 'Cleopatra' mandarin (C. reticulata) rootstocks were evaluated under field conditions for 4 years. Pratylenchus coffeae on inoculated trees increased to significantly damaging population densities on rough lemon rootstock the second year, on sour orange the third and on Cleopatra mandarin the fourth year after planting. Mean growth reduction of P. coffeae-infected trees after 4 years was 80, 77 and 49%, respectively, for the three rootstocks. Noninoculated trees on rough lemon and sour orange rootstocks yielded significantly more fruit than comparable inoculated trees. Natural migration of P. coffeae occurred horizontally on roots for a distance of 4.5 m. Key Words: population densities, biology, nematode movement.

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