EFFECT OF <I>MELOIDOGYNE INCOGNITA</I> ON WATERMELON YIELD
Keywords:Citrullus lanatus, Meloidogyne incognita, watermelon, yield loss
AbstractDavis, R. F. 2007. Effect of Meloidogyne incognita on watermelon yield. Nematropica 37:287-293. Field tests were conducted in 2004 and 2006 in Tifton, GA to document the effect of Meloidogyne incognita infection on watermelon yield. Experiments had 24 replications of two treatments: methyl bromide fumigated and non-fumigated. Each plot consisted of one row of nine plants: the first, fifth, and ninth plants in the row were pollinators (cv. Companion), and the other six plants were cv. Cooperstown seedless watermelons. Neither maximum vine length nor vigor rating three weeks after transplanting differed between methyl bromide-treated plots and non-treated plots in 2004. Both 'Cooperstown' and 'Companion' watermelons had significantly greater galling in non-fumigated plots than in the fumigated plots in both years. The level of galling on 'Companion' generally was the same as that on 'Cooperstown'. Significantly more fruit and greater total weight were harvested from methyl bromide-fumigated plots in both 2004 and 2006 due to more fruit and greater weight being harvested during the first harvest; fruit number and weight were not different between fumigated and non-fumigated plots for the second harvest in either year. Nematode parasitism reduced the weight of the first harvest by 30% in 2004 and 24% in 2006. Fumigation increased yields by increasing the number of fruit during the first harvest but not the weight of individual fruit.