Effect of Host Plant Age on Population Development and Pathogenicity of Ditylenchus destructor on Peanut


  • Selmare Basson
  • D. De Waele
  • A. J. Meyer


The effect of inoculating peanut, Arachis hypogaea cv. Sellie, with Ditylenchus destructor at timed intervals after planting and with different initial nematode population densities (Pi) was tested in greenhouse experiments. Final nematode population densities (Pf) in hulls and seeds were greater (Pf 0.001) in plants inoculated at or before 9 weeks after planting. Pod disease symptoms correlated positively with the Pf in the pods. The seedgrade of peanuts inoculated at or before 9 weeks after planting was reduced, whereas grade of peanuts from plants inoculated at 15 weeks or later was not reduced. Peanut plants inoculated 12 weeks after planting with a Pi of 10-100 had a lower Pf (P 0.05) than plants with a Pi of 250 to 8,000. Seed of plants with a Pi of 250 or less could be marketed as choice edible seed, whereas those with a Pi of 500 or more were of reduced seedgrade. These results suggest that as few as 500 nematodes per plant at 12 weeks after planting can build up to injurious levels before harvest. A nematicide should therefore be active for longer than 12 weeks after planting to sufficiently suppress the population. Key words: Arachis hypogaea, Ditylenchus destructor, host age, inoculation, nematode, population dynamics.