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Local and Systemic Induced Resistance to the Root-Knot Nematode in Tomato by DL-β-Amino-n-Butyric Acid

December 1999 , Volume 89 , Number  12
Pages  1,138 - 1,143

Yuji Oka , Yigal Cohen , and Yitzhak Spiegel

First and third authors: Department of Nematology, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel; second author: Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel

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Accepted for publication 27 July 1999.

Chemical inducers of pathogenesis-related proteins and plant resistance were applied to tomato plants, with the aim of inducing resistance to the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica. Relative to control plants, foliar spray and soil-drenching with dl-β-amino-n-butyric acid (BABA) reduced root-galling 7 days after inoculation, as well as the number of eggs 30 days after inoculation. Other chemicals (α- and γ-amino-n-butyric acid, jasmonic acid, methyl jasmonate, and salicylic acid) were either phytotoxic to tomato plants or did not improve control of root-knot nematodes. Fewer second-stage juveniles invaded BABA-treated tomato roots, and root-galling indices were lower than in control tomato plants. Resistance phenomena in seedlings lasted at least 5 days after spraying with BABA. Nematodes invading the roots of BABA-treated seedlings induced small, vacuolate giant cells. Postinfection treatment of tomato plants with BABA inhibited nematode development. It is speculated that after BABA application tomato roots become less attractive to root-knot nematodes, physically harder to invade, or some substance(s) inhibiting nematode or nematode feeding-site development is produced in roots.

© 1999 The American Phytopathological Society