Plant-parasitic Nematode Communities and Their Associations with Soil Factors in Organically Farmed Fields in Minnesota

S. Y. Chen, C. C. Sheaffer, D. L. Wyse, P. Nickel, H. Kandel


A survey was conducted to determine the assemblage and abundance of plant-parasitic nematodes and their associations with soil factors in organically farmed fields in Minnesota. A total of 31 soil samples were collected from southeast (SE), 26 samples from southwest (SW), 28 from west-central (WC), and 23 from northwest (NW) Minnesota. The assemblage and abundance of plant-parasitic nematodes varied among the four regions. The soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, the most destructive pathogen of soybean, was detected in 45.2, 88.5, 10.7, and 0% of organically farmed fields with relative prominence (RP) values of 10.3, 26.5, 0.6, and 0 in the SE, SW, WC, and NW regions, respectively. Across the four regions, other common genera of plantparasitic nematodes were Helicotylenchus (42.6, RP value, same below), Pratylenchus (26.9), Tylenchorhynchus and related genera (9.4), Xiphinema (5.6), and Paratylenchus (5.3). Aphelenchoides, Meloidogyne, Hoplolaimus, Mesocriconema, and Trichodorus were also detected at low frequencies and/or low population densities. The similarity index of plant-parasitic nematodes between two regions ranged from 0.44 to 0.71 and the similarity increased with decreasing distance between regions. The densities of most plant-parasitic nematodes did not correlate with measured soil factors (organic matter, pH, texture). However, the densities of Pratylenchus correlated negatively with % sand, and Xiphinema was correlated negatively with soil pH.

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