Interaction Between Meloidogyne incognita and Thielaviopsis basicola on Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum)

N. R. Walker, T. L. Kirkpatrick, C. S. Rothrock


The effects of Meloidogyne incognita and Thielaviopsis basicola on the growth of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) and the effects of T. basicola on M. incognita populations were evaluated in a 2-year study. Microplots were infested with M. incognita, T. basicola, or a combination of M. incognita and T. basicola. Uninfested plots served as controls both years. Seedling survival was decreased by the M. incognita + T. basicola treatment compared to the control. Meloidogyne incognita alone and M. incognita + T. basicola reduced plant height-to-node ratio for seedlings in both years. Seed cotton yield was reduced, and the length of time required for boll maturation was lengthened by M. incognita + T. basicola in 1994 and M. incognita both alone and with T. basicola in 1995. Position of the first sympodial node on the main stem was increased by M. incognita in both years and was higher for plants treated with M. incognita + T. basicola in 1995 in comparison to the control. The number of sympodial branches with bolls in the first and second fruiting position and the percentage of bolls retained in the second position were reduced both years by M. incognita + T. basicola compared to either the control or T. basicola alone. Orthogonal contrasts indicated that effects on height-to-node ratio, number of days to first cracked boll, and yield were significantly different for combined pathogen inoculations than with either pathogen alone. Meloidogyne incognita eggs at harvest were reduced by T. basicola in 1994 and 1995 compared to M. incognita alone. The study demonstrated a significant interaction between M. incognita and T. basicola on cotton that impacted the survival and development of cotton and the reproduction of M. incognita on cotton. Key words: black root rot, Chalara elegans, cotton, Gossypium hirsutum, interaction, Meloidogyne incognita, nematode, root-knot, Thielaviopsis basicola.

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