Infection Behavior and Overwintering Survival of Foliar Nematodes, <I>Aphelenchoides fragariae</I> , on Hosta


  • Ganpati B. Jagdale
  • Parwinder S. Grewal


Aphelenchoides fragariae, dormant buds, foliar nematode, Hosta spp., overwintering, pathogenicity, temperature tolerance.


We studied the pathogenicity and overwintering survival of the foliar nematode, Aphelenchoides fragariae, infecting Hosta spp. Nematodes applied to either lower or upper sides of noninjured and injured hosta leaves were able to infect and produce typical symptoms on nine cultivars. Leaves of only four cultivars (Borschi, Fragrant Blue, Patomic Pride, and Olive Bailey Langdon) showed no symptoms of nematode infection. The nematodes overwintered as juveniles and adults in soil, dry leaves, and dormant buds, but not in roots. Nematode winter survival was higher in dormant buds and soil from the polyhouse than in an open home garden. Of the nematodes found in the dormant buds, 35% to 79% were located between the first two outside layers of the buds. The nematodes tolerated 8 hr exposure to 40øC and -80øC in leaf tissues. Relative humidity influenced nematode migration from soil to leaves. The presence of nematodes only on the outer surface of foliage (leaves and petioles) confirmed the migration of A. fragariae on the surface of the plants. Of the total number of nematodes found on the foliage, 25% to 46% and 66% to 77% were alive at 90% and 100% relative humidity, respectively, suggesting that high moisture is required for the survival and upward movement of nematodes. We conclude that A. fragariae can overwinter in soil, infected dry leaves, and dormant buds and migrate in films of water on the outer surface of the plant during spring to leaves to initiate infection.