Isofemale Line Analysis of Meloidogyne incognita Virulence to Cowpea Resistance Gene Rk


  • M. D. Petrillo
  • P. A. Roberts


cowpea, genetic variation, meloidogyne incognita, resistance, root-knot nematode, selection, vigna unguiculata, virulence


Isofemale lines (IFL) from single egg masses were studied for genetic variation in Meloidogyne incognita isolates avirulent and virulent to the resistance gene Rk in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). In parental isolates cultured on susceptible and resistant cowpea, the virulent isolate contained 100% and the avirulent isolate 7% virulent lineages. Virulence was selected from the avirulent isolate within eight generations on resistant cowpea (lineage selection). In addition, virulence was selected from avirulent females (individual selection). Virulence differed (P = 0.05) both within and between cohorts of IFL cultured for up to 27 generations on susceptible or resistant cowpea. Distinct virulence profiles were observed among IFL. Some remained avirulent on susceptible plants and became extinct on resistant plants; some remained virulent on resistant and susceptible plants; some changed from avirulent to virulent on resistant plants; and others changed from virulent to avirulent on susceptible plants. Also, some IFL increased in virulence on susceptible plants. Single descent lines from IFL showed similar patterns of virulence for up to six generations. These results revealed considerable genetic variation in virulence in a mitotic parthenogenetic nematode population. The frequencies of lineages with stable or changeable virulence and avirulence phenotypes determined the overall virulence potential of the population.