Effects of Nematicides and Plant Resistance on White Clover Performance and Seasonal Populations of Nematodes Parasitizing White Clover in Grazed Pasture

C. F. Mercer, R. N. Watson


Root-infecting nematodes are a major cause of white clover, Trifolium repens, not reaching its potential in New Zealand pastures. Resistance and/or tolerance are the preferred control options. Greenhouse-based, recurrent selection programs have developed resistance to Meloidogyne trifoliophila and Heterodera trifolii, and a field-based program has developed tolerance. Lines from these programs were compared with commercial cultivars as controls in a series of field trials at four sites over 4 years. Resistant lines from the CCN program performed better than susceptible lines and as well as most cultivars, reflecting the high level of resistance developed in this greenhouse-based program. In stained root from Cambridge, numbers of CCN were lower in resistant lines than in cultivars; numbers in susceptible lines were intermediate. CCN resistance was also reflected to a lesser extent in the number of cysts counted in soil under resistant lines in Palmerston North. The root-knot nematode-resistant material performed better than the susceptible and as well as most cultivars. In one trial of CRKN-resistant lines, resistant and susceptible lines had similar numbers of CRKN which were both lower than the numbers in the cultivars; in the second trial, there were fewer CRKN in resistant than in susceptible lines or cultivars. The tolerant selections, developed under field conditions, performed as well as or better than the cultivars. The selections from the breeding programmes have exhibited strong agronomic potential across locations and years, and the best material has been crossed; progeny are being assessed in current field trials.


Heterodera trifolii; Meloidogyne trifoliophila; nematode; New Zealand; pasture; resistance; tolerance; Trifolium repens; white clover.

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