The Future of Nematode Management in Cotton

J. L. Starr, S. R. Koenning, T. L. Kirkpatrick, A. F. Robinson, P. A. Roberts, R. L. Nichols


The importance of plant-parasitic nematodes as yield-limiting pathogens of cotton has received increased recognition and attention in the United States in the recent past. This paper summarizes the remarks made during a symposium of the same title that was held in July 2007 at the joint meeting of the Society of Nematologists and the American Phytopathological Society in San Diego, California. Although several cultural practices, including crop rotation, can be effective in suppressing the populations of the important nematode pathogens of cotton, the economic realities of cotton production limit their use. The use of nematicides is also limited by issues of efficacy and economics. There is a need for development of chemistries that will address these limitations. Also needed are systems that would enable precise nematicide application in terms of rate and placement only in areas where nematode population densities warrant application. Substantial progress is being made in the identification, characterization and mapping of loci for resistance to Meloidogyne incognita and Rotylenchulus reniformis. These data will lead to efficient marker-assisted selection systems that will likely result in development and release of nematode-resistant cotton cultivars with superior yield potential and high fiber quality.

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