Effect of Watering Regimen on Injury to Corn and Grain Sorghum by Pratylenchus Species


  • A. H. McDonald
  • E. H. van den Berg


The effect of simulated rainfall frequency on the pathogenicity of Pratylenchus zeae and P. brachyurus was studied in four greenhouse experiments. Corn and grain sorghum were watered at different intervals during predetermined cycles to create a gradient of water-stressed plants. Each experiment included nematode and uninoculated treatments. Growth reaction of plants to different frequencies of watering was significant but was not affected by the presence of nematodes. Pratylenchus zeae numbers differed among watering regimens on corn but not on sorghum. Numbers of P. brachyurus did not differ among watering regimens on corn or sorghum. Both lesion nematode species were harmful to corn, but sorghum increased plant growth in response to P. brachyurus. It is concluded that water stress is not the only environmental factor that influences the pathogenicity of these two species on corn and sorghum. Key words: corn, grain sorghum, nematode, Pratylenchus brachyurus, Pratylenchus zeae, Sorghum bicolor, water stress, Zea mays.