Effects of Tagetes patula on Active and Inactive Stages of Root-Knot Nematodes

Sharadchandra P. Marahatta, Koon-Hui Wang, Brent S. Sipes, Cerruti R. R. Hooks


Although marigold (Tagetes patula) is known to produce allelopathic compounds toxic to plant-parasitic nematodes, suppression of Meloidogyne incognita can be inconsistent. Two greenhouse experiments were conducted to test whether marigold is more effective in suppressing Meloidogyne spp. when it is active rather than dormant. Soils infested with Meloidogyne spp. were collected and conditioned in the greenhouse either by 1) keeping the soil dry (DRY), 2) irrigating with water (IRR), or 3) drenching with cucumber (Cucumis sativus) leachate (CL) for 5 wk. These soils were then either planted with cucumber, marigold or remained bare for 10 wk. Suppression of nematode by marigold was then assayed using cucumber. DRY conditioning resulted in the highest number of inactive nematodes, whereas CL and IRR had higher numbers of active nematodes than DRY. At the end of the cucumber bioassay, marigold suppressed the numbers of Meloidogyne females in cucumber roots if the soil was conditioned in IRR or CL, but not in DRY. However, in separate laboratory assays, marigold root leachate slightly reduced M. incognita J2 activity but did not reduce egg hatch (P > 0.05). These finding suggest that marigold can only suppress Meloidogyne spp. when marigold is actively growing. This further suggests that marigold will more efficiently suppress Meloidogyne spp. if planted when these nematodes are in active stage.

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