Nematodes in Dryland Field Crops in the Semiarid Pacific Northwest United States


  • Richard W. Smiley
  • Kathy Merrifield
  • Lisa-Marie Patterson
  • Ruth G. Whittaker
  • Jennifer A. Gourlie
  • Sandra A. Easley


barley, cereal cyst nematode, geocenamus brevidens, heterodera avenae, lesion nematode, meloidogyne chitwoodi, meloidogyne naasi, non-plant-parasitic nematodes, paratylenchus, pin nematode, pratylenchus neglectus, pratylenchus thornei, root-gall nematode, root-knot nematode, stunt nematode, subanguina radicicola, tylenchorhynchus clarus, wheat, xiphinema


Soils and roots of field crops in low-rainfall regions of the Pacific Northwest were surveyed for populations of plantparasitic and non-plant-parasitic nematodes. Lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus species) were recovered from 123 of 130 non-irrigated and 18 of 18 irrigated fields. Pratylenchus neglectus was more prevalent than P. thornei, but mixed populations were common. Population densities in soil were affected by crop frequency and rotation but not by tillage or soil type (P 0.05). Many fields (25%) cropped more frequently than 2 of 4 years had potentially damaging populations of lesion nematodes. Pratylenchus neglectus density in winter wheat roots was inversely correlated with grain yield (r² = 0.64, P = 0.002), providing the first field-derived evidence that Pratylenchus is economically important in Pacific Northwest dryland field crops. Stunt nematodes (Tylenchorhynchus clarus and Geocenamus brevidens) were detected in 35% of fields and were occasionally present in high numbers. Few fields were infested with pin (Paratylenchus species) and root-knot (Meloidogyne naasi and M. chitwoodi) nematodes. Nematodes detected previously but not during this survey included cereal cyst (Heterodera avenae), dagger (Xiphinema species), and root-gall (Subanguina radicicola) nematodes.