Susceptibility of Several Common Subtropical Weeds to Meloidogyne arenaria, M. incognita, and M. javanica


  • Nancy Kokalis-Burelle
  • Erin N. Rosskopf


Experiments were conducted in the greenhouse to assess root galling and egg production of three root-knot nematode species, Meloidogyne arenaria, M. incognita, and M. javanica, on several weeds common to Florida agricultural land. Weeds evaluated were Amaranthus retroflexus (redroot pigweed), Cyperus esculentus (yellow nutsedge), Eleusine indica (goosegrass), Portulaca oleracea (common purslane), and Solanum americanum (American black nightshade). Additionally, although it is recommended as a cover crop in southern regions of the U.S., Aeschynomene americana (American jointvetch) was evaluated as a weed following the detection of root galling in a heavy volunteer infestation of an experimental field in southeastern Florida. Weeds were propagated from seed and inoculated with 1000 nematode eggs when plants reached the two true-leaf stage. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Rutgers’) was included as a positive control. Aeschynomene americana and P. oleracea roots supported the highest number of juveniles (J2) and had the highest number of eggs/g of root for all three species of Meloidogyne tested. However, though P. oleracea supported very high root levels of the three nematode species tested, its fleshy roots did not exhibit severe gall symptoms. Low levels of apparent galling, combined with high egg production, increase the potential for P. oleracea to support populations of these three species of root-knot nematodes to a degree that may not be appropriately recognized. This research quantifies the impact of P. oleracea as a host for M. arenaria, M. incognita, and M. javanica compared to several other important weeds commonly found in Florida agricultural production, and the potential for A. americana to serve as an important weed host of the three species of root-knot nematode tested in southern regions of Florida.






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