Meloidogyne incognita Inoculum Source Affects Host Suitability and Growth of Yellow Nutsedge and Chile Pepper


  • S. H. Thomas
  • J. Schroeder
  • M. J. Kenney
  • L. W. Murray


Meloidogyne incognita (Mi) reproduction and host plant responses in chile pepper (Capsicum annuum) and yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus = YNS) to three sources of inoculum obtained by rearing a single Mi population on chile, YNS, and tomato were evaluated in two factorial greenhouse experiments. The interactive effects of Mi inoculum source and crop-weed competition were determined. In the absence of YNS competition, chile growth was reduced less by Mi inoculum from chile than by inoculum from YNS or tomato. When YNS was present, chile root weight was not affected and shoot weight increased with Mi initial inoculation, regardless of inoculum source. Chile plants inoculated with Mi from tomato exhibited double the nematode reproduction observed with inoculum from chile or YNS. With chile present, Mi reproduction on YNS was nearly three times greater with inoculum from tomato, but reproduction was similar among inoculum sources when chile was absent. Reductions in YNS root mass due to competition from chile failed to reduce the total number of Mi eggs produced on YNS plants. Differences in total Mi reproduction among inoculum sources were not attributable to differences in root growth or plant competition. This study illustrates the influence of Mi-YNS interactions and previous hosts on severity of Mi infection. Key words: Capsicum annuum, chile pepper, Cyperus esculentus, host-parasite relationship, inoculum source, interaction, Meloidogyne incognita, root-knot nematode, weed, yellow nutsedge.