Association of Nematodes and Dogwood Cankers

Louann H. Self, Ernest C. Bernard


Dogwood canker is a serious production problem of unknown etiology. From May 1985 through April 1989, cankers from 290 flowering dogwood trees in 15 separate nurseries were sampled for nematodes. Seventy-three percent (213) of the cankers contained nematodes. Panagrolaimus rigidus (Schneider) Thorne (115/290) and Aphelenchoides spp. (91/290) were the most frequently collected taxa. Panagrolaimus rigidus was reared on 2% water agar with unidentified bacteria as the food source. Aphelenchoides spp. were reared in antibiotic-amended agar culture with the fungus Glomerella cingulata (Stoneman) Spauld. & Schrenk as a food source. Repeated attempts to culture Aphelenchoides spp. on dogwood callus tissue were unsuccessful. Artificially created stem wounds inoculated with combinations of Aphelenchoides spp. and P. rigidus callused completely in 60 days with no indication of canker development. Very low numbers of nematodes were recovered from inoculated trees, but P. rigidus and one Aphelenchoides sp. were efficient dispersers and occurred in treatments other than those in which they were inoculated. Key words: aerial parasite, Aphelenchoides spp., Cornus florida, dogwood canker, flowering dogwood, hardwoods, nematode, Panagrolaimus rigidus, woody ornamental.

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