Natural Migration of Rotylenchulus reniformis In a No-Till Cotton System

Scott R. Moore, Kathy S. Lawrence, Francisco J. Arriaga, Charles H. Burmester, Edzard van Santen


Rotylenchulus reniformis is the most damaging nematode pathogen of cotton in Alabama. It is easily introduced into cotton fields via contaminated equipment and, when present, is difficult and costly to control. A trial to monitor the natural migration of R. reniformis from an initial point of origin was established in 2007 and studied over two growing seasons in both irrigated and nonirrigated no-till cotton production systems. Vermiform females, juveniles and males reached a horizontal distance of 200 cm from the initial inoculation point, and a depth of 91 cm in the first season in both systems. Irrigation had no effect on the migration of vermiform females and juveniles, but males migrated faster in the irrigated trial than in the non-irrigated trial. Population density increased steadily in the irrigated trial during both years, exceeding the economic threshold of 1,000 per 150 cm3, but was highly correlated with rainfall in the non-irrigated trial. The average speed of migration ranged from 0- to 3.3-cm per day over 150 days. R. reniformis was able to establish in both the irrigated and non-irrigated trials in one season and to increase population density significantly.

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