Identification of Sources of Resistance to Four Species of Root-knot Nematodes in Tobacco


  • Tenson B. S. Ng'ambi
  • Rebeca C. Rufty
  • Kenneth R. Barker
  • Thomas A. Melton


javanese root-knot nematode, meloidogyne species, nematode, resistance, southern root-knot nematode, tobacco


Resistance to the southern root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita races 1 and 3, has been identified, incorporated, and deployed into commercial cultivars of tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum. Cultivars with resistance to other economically important root-knot nematode species attacking tobacco, M. arenaria, M. hapla, M. javanica, and other host-specific races of M. incognita, are not available in the United States. Twenty-eight tobacco genotypes of diverse origin and two standard cultivars, NC 2326 (susceptible) and Speight G 28 (resistant to M. incognita races 1 and 3), were screened for resistance to eight root-knot nematode populations of North Carolina origin. Based on root gall indices at 8 to 12 weeks after inoculation, all genotypes except NC 2326 and Okinawa were resistant to M. arenaria race 1, and races 1 and 3 of M. incognita. Except for slight root galling, genotypes resistant to M. arenaria race 1 responded similarly to races 1 and 3 of M. incognita. All genotypes except NC 2326, Okinawa, and Speight G 28 showed resistance to M. javanica. Okinawa, while supporting lower reproduction of M. javanica than NC 2326, was rated as moderately susceptible. Tobacco breeding lines 81-R-617A, 81-RL- 2K, SA 1213, SA 1214, SA 1223, and SA 1224 were resistant to M. arenaria race 2, and thus may be used as sources of resistance to this pathogen. No resistance to M. hapla and only moderate resistance to races 2 and 4 of M. incognita were found in any of the tobacco genotypes. Under natural field infestations of M. arenaria race 2, nematode development on resistant tobacco breeding lines 81-RL-2K, SA 1214, and SA 1215 was similar to a susceptible cultivar with some nematicide treatments; however, quantity and quality of yield were inferior compared to K 326 plus nematicides.