Evaluation of Protocol for Assessing the Reaction of Rice and Wheat Germplasm to Infection by Meloidogyne graminicola

Ramesh R. Pokharel, John M. Duxbury, George Abawai

Abstract


Root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne graminicola), an important and widespread pathogen, causes high yield losses in rice with limited information on wheat and on efficient management. Absence of uniform screening protocols is contributing to slow progress of host resistance development. To develop an efficient screening protocol, several greenhouse studies were conducted, and effects of incubation period, inoculum level, inoculation method, seedling age, and their interactions on root-galling severity (RGS) ratings and reproductive factor (RF) values of M. graminicola were determined. At 2 eggs/cm3 soil, significantly lower RGS but higher RF values were observed at 60 days than at 45 days of incubation. Meloidogyne graminicola reproduced six times more on rice than on wheat where the RGS index in both crops increased steadily with increasing inoculum levels, but RF increased at lower levels and decreased beyond a maximum at medium inoculum levels. Inoculum level, container size, seedling age, inoculation method, and their interactions impacted nematode infection and reproduction. The protocol was verified on eleven rice germplasm lines and seven wheat cultivars using the resistance index (RI) calculated from RGS and RF, to screen rice and wheat germplasm.

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