Pathological Relationship of Ditylenchus dipsaci and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis on alfalfa

G. D. Griffin

Abstract


Ditylenchus dipsaci and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis synergistically affected the mortality and plant growth of Ranger alfalfa, a cultivar susceptible to stem nematode and Fusarium wilt. The nematode-fungus relationship had an additive effect on mortality and plant growth of Lahontan (nematode resistant and Fusarium wilt susceptible) and of Moapa 69 (nematode susceptible and Fusarium wilt resistant). Mortality rates were 13, 16, 46, and 49% for Ranger; 4, 18, 26, and 28% for Lahontan; and 19, 10, 32, and 30% for Moapa 69 inoculated with D. dipsaci, F. oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis, and simultaneously and sequentially with D. dipsaci and F. oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis, respectively. Shoot weights as a percentage of uninoculated controls for the same treatments were 52, 84, 26, and 28%, for Ranger; 74, 86, 64, and 64% for Lahontan; and 50, 95, 44, and 39% for Moapa 69. Plant growth suppression was related to vascular bundle infection and discoloration of alfalfa root tissue. Disease severity and plant growth of alfalfa did not differ with simultaneous or sequential inoculations of the two pathogens. Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis affected alfalfa growth but not nematode reproduction. Key words: alfalfa, Ditylenchus dipsaci, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis, interaction, Medicago sativa, mortality, reproduction, suppression, synergism.

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