Response of Resistant and Susceptible Bell Pepper (Capsicum annuum) to a Southern California Meloidogyne incognita Population from a Commercial Bell Pepper Field.

Jose Luis Aguiar, Oli Bachie, Antoon Ploeg

Abstract


To determine the presence and level of root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.) infestation in Southern California bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) fields, soil and root samples were collected in April and May 2012 and analyzed for the presence of root-knot nematodes. The earlier samples were virtually free of root-knot nematodes, but the later samples all contained, sometimes very high numbers, of root-knot nematodes. Nematodes were all identified as M. incognita. A nematode population from one of these fields was multiplied in a greenhouse and used as inoculumfor two repeated pot experiments with three susceptible and two resistant bell pepper varieties. Fruit yields of the resistant peppers were not affected by the nematodes, whereas yields of two of the three susceptible pepper cultivars decreased as a result of nematode inoculation. Nematode-induced root galling and nematode multiplication was low but different between the two resistant cultivars. Root galling and nematode reproduction was much higher on the three susceptible cultivars. One of these susceptible cultivars exhibited tolerance, as yields were not affected by the nematodes, but nematode multiplication was high. It is concluded that M. incognita is common in Southern California bell pepper production, and that resistant cultivars may provide a useful tool in a nonchemical management strategy.

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