Distribution and Longevity of Pratylenchus penetrans in the Red Raspberry Production System

Duncan R. Kroese, Jerry E. Weiland, Inga A. Zasada


One of the major constraints on the production of red raspberries in the Pacific Northwest is the presence of the rootlesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans. Current management of this nematode relies heavily on preplant soil fumigation; however, regulations have made the practice more difficult and expensive. Additional issues with soil fumigation include lack of efficacy at deeper soil depths and potential inability to penetrate raspberry root material that remains in the field during fumigation which may harbor P. penetrans. To address these issues, two field experiments were conducted in northwestern Washington. In the first experiment, the residency time of P. penetrans in root material from the previous raspberry crop, which was terminated with or without the use of herbicides, was monitored over time. Pratylenchus penetrans was found in root material from 6 to 8 mon after the crop was terminated, and herbicide application did not reduce P. penetrans residency time compared to untreated root material. In a second experiment, the vertical distribution of P. penetrans at three different times during the field establishment process (pre- and postfumigation, and at planting) was determined at two locations. Both locations had detectable prefumigation P. penetrans populations at all depths. However, postfumigation populations showed a different distribution pattern between locations. The location with coarser soil had populations located mainly at shallower depths with a maximum of 44 P. penetrans/100 g soil at 16 to 30 cm deep, whereas the location with finer soil had populations located mainly at deeper depths with a maximum of 8 P. penetrans/100 g soil at 76 to 90 cm deep. At planting, distribution tended to equilibrate among depths at both locations, but the overall population pattern across depth at each location was similar to that observed at postfumigation. Understanding more about the residency time and distribution of this nematode may provide growers with information that can be used to more effectively target P. penetrans.

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