Dynamics of Concomitant Populations of Hoplolaimus columbus, Scutellonema brachyurum, and Meloidogyne incognita on Cotton
Cotton seedlings grown in a greenhouse and a growth chamber were inoculated with Scutellonema brachyurum, Hoplolaimus columbus, and Meloidogyne incognita, singly and in all possible combinations, at two initial population (P[subi]) levels (100 and 300/100 cm³). S. brachyurum alone was not pathogenic to cotton at these population levels. It fed primarily as an ectoparasite but matured and reproduced within the root when it penetrated. Populations of S. brachyurum increased in the presence of H. columbus but were suppressed by M. incognita. H. columbus suppressed dry shoot weights of cotton (P = 0.05) at a P[subi] of 300/100 cm³ soil. Simultaneous inoculation of H. columbus with either M. incognita or S. brachyurum increased H. columbus populations over treatments with H. columbus alone, both at 60 and 90 d after inoculation. M. incognita suppressed cotton shoot weights significantly (P = 0.05) at both P[subi] levels. Inoculation with S. brachyurum increased M. incognita populations 60 d after inoculation, while H. columbus suppressed populations of M. incognita. Most larvae of M. incognita did not develop to maturity in the presence of H. columbus. Giant cells aborted and were necrotic 20-25 d after inoculation. Since M. incognita and H. columbus feed on different tissues, the inhibition of M. incognita may have resulted from a physiological effect of H. columbus on the host. Key words: Nematode interactions, population dynamics, cotton, lance nematode, spiral nematode, root-knot nematode.