Effects of Mesocriconema xenoplax on Vitis vinifera and Associated Mycorrhizal Fungi

J. N. Pinkerton, R. P. Schreiner, K. L. Ivors, M. C. Vasconcelos


Previous surveys of vineyards had indicated that Mesocriconema xenoplax was present in 85% of vineyards in western Oregon, but yields were not depressed in established vines. Microplot studies were initiated in 1997 in a Willamette Valley vineyard to determine the impact of M. xenoplax on vine establishment. Plots were infested with 0.03, 0.6, and 3.0 M. xenoplax g[sup-]¹ soil and planted with self-rooted Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines. In November 2000, four growing seasons after planting, pruning weights, fine root weights, and fruit yield of vines planted in infested soil were reduced by 58%, 75%, and 33%, respectively, relative to control vines (planted in noninfested soil). In 1998 with ca 2000 degree-day base 9 ºC accumulation, population densities increased 32-fold and 44-fold on 1-year-old Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines, respectively. Nematode population dynamics and pruning data suggested that the carrying capacity of vines in microplots was 5 to 8 M. xenoplax g[sup-]¹ soil. In November 2000, more than 80% of the fine root length was colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in all treatments. The frequency of fine roots containing arbuscules (the site of nutrient transfer between plant and fungus), however, was depressed from 5% to 65% in plants infested initially with M. xenoplax as compared to controls. Competition for photosynthate within the root system is proposed as a possible mechanism by which nematodes suppressed arbuscule frequency.


arbuscule frequency; grape; mesocriconema xenoplax; mycorrhizae; plant disease loss; population dynamics; ring nematode; vitis vinifera

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