Detection of Suppressiveness against <I>Rotylenchulus reniformis</I> in Soil from Cotton (<I>Gossypium hirsutum</I> ) Fields in Texas and Louisiana


  • A. Forest Robinson
  • Andreas Westphal
  • Charles Overstreet
  • G. Boyd Padgett
  • Shoil M. Greenberg
  • Terry A. Wheeler
  • Salliana R. Stetina


biological control, cotton, Gossypium hirsutum, Rotylenchulus reniformis, reniform nematode, soil suppressiveness


Rotylenchulus reniformis is a major problem confronting cotton production in the central part of the cotton belt of the United States of America. In this study, the hypothesis that natural antagonists in some cases are responsible for unusually low densities of the nematode in certain fields was tested by assaying soils from 22 selected fields for the presence of transferable agents in pots containing cotton plants. In one field, soil from four different depth ranges was tested. In the first of two types of assays, 1 part nematode infested soil was added to 9 parts test soil that was left untreated or autoclaved before mixing; this mixture was used to fill pots. In the second type of assay, 1 part test soil was added to 9 or 19 parts pasteurized fine sand, and nematodes were introduced in aqueous suspension. In three experiments representing both types of assay, transferable or autoclavable agent(s) from four fields in South Texas suppressed nematode populations by 48, 78, 90 and 95%. In one experiment, transferable agents in five fields in Louisiana suppressed populations from 37 to 66%. Identification and evaluation of these agents for biological control of R. reniformis merits further study.