Reproduction and Parasitism of Pratylenchus neglectus on Potato

Th. H. A. Olthof


An initial density (Pi) of 1,540 Pratylenchus neglectus/kg soil suppressed shoot growth of potato, Solanum tuberosum cv. Russet Burbank, in a greenhouse test at 3 weeks. After 6 weeks, shoot weights were reduced by Pi of 662 and 1,540 nematodes/kg soil, the final soil densities of P. neglectus were twice the respective Pi, and the numbers of nematodes per gram dry root were 5,363 and 7,981. In 1986-88 field microplot experiments with the Norchip cultivar, neither shoot nor root weight was suppressed by P. neglectus. In 1986 a Pi of 115 nematodes/kg soil suppressed the total number and weight of tubers per plant. In 1987 a Pi of 186 nematodes/kg soil suppressed the marketable and total number of tubers by 19 and 25 %, respectively. In 1988 a Pi of 1,884 nematodes/ kg soil reduced total and marketable weight by 18 and 19%, respectively. In 1986 and 1987 nematode population densities in the soil increased 34-fold and 27-fold, respectively. In 1988 the Pi of 1,884 nematodes/kg soil rose to 21,890/kg at midseason, then dropped to 4,370/kg at harvest. These studies show for the first time that P. neglectus reproduces well on potato and can cause yield losses. Because of its distribution and abundance, P. neglectus may be considered an economically important parasite of potato in Ontario. Key words: potato, Pratylenchus neglectus, reproduction, root-lesion nematode, Solanum tuberosum, yield loss.

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