Nicotine Content of Tobacco Roots and Toxicity to Meloidogyne incognita


  • Eric L. Davis
  • J. R. Rich


The motility of Meloidogyne incognita second-stage juveniles (J2) and their ability to induce root galls in tomato were progressively decreased upon exposure to nicotine at concentrations of 1-100 [mu]g/ml. EC[sub5][sub0] values ranged from 14.5 to 22.3 [mu]g/ml, but J2 motility and root-gall induction were not eliminated at 100 [mu]g/ml nicotine. Nicotine in both resistant NC 89 and susceptible NC 2326 tobacco roots was increased significantly 4 days after exposure to M. incognita. The increase was greater in resistant than in susceptible tobacco. Root nicotine concentrations were estimated to be 661.1-979.1 [mu]g/g fresh weight. More M. incognita were detected in roots of susceptible than in roots of resistant tobacco. Numbers of nematodes within resistant roots decreased as duration of exposure to M. incognita was increased from 4 to 16 days. Concentrations of nicotine were apparently sufficient to affect M. incognita in both susceptible and resistant tobacco roots. Localization of nicotine at infection sites must be determined to ascertain its association with resistance. Key words: Nicotiana tabacum, root-knot nematode, resistance, alkaloid, Meloidogyne incognita, nicotine, tobacco.