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Managing root-knot nematode in tomato using resistant rootstocks.
T. McAvoy (1), M. Paret (2), J. FREEMAN (1). (1) Virginia Tech, Painter, VA, U.S.A.; (2) University of Florida, Quincy, FL, U.S.A.

Grafting of vegetables is being investigated as a management tool for soil-borne diseases and pests in the absence of the soil fumigant methyl bromide. Three hybrid tomato rootstocks were investigated for possible resistance to root-knot nematode (<i>Meloidogyne</i> spp.). These rootstocks were chosen because they have previously exhibited resistance to bacterial wilt (<i>Ralstonia solanacearum</i>). The root-knot susceptible tomato cultivar BHN 602 was grafted onto BHN 998, BHN 1054, or RST 04-106-T. These combinations as well as an un-grafted BHN 602 control were planted into a field that was naturally infested with root-knot nematode in Florida and inoculated with root-knot nematode in Virginia. In Florida, all grafted entries exhibited significantly lower root gall index (RGI) compared to the control and there were no differences between grafted entries. In Virginia, all grafted entries exhibited significantly lower RGI compared to the control but there were differences between grafted entries. Plants with rootstock RST 04-106-T exhibited least RGI, followed by BHN 998, which had significantly lower RGI than BHN 1054. At both locations, plants grafted to BHN 998 produced significantly greater marketable yield than the control. In Florida, plants grafted to RST 04-106-T produced yields similar to the control and in Virginia plants grafted to BHN 1054 yielded similar to the control. These data indicate that root-knot nematode can be managed with grafting and that resistant rootstocks can be used to manage a broad spectrum of soil-borne pests and pathogens.<p><p>Keywords: Nematode, Vegetables, Tomato

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