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Phosphite Inhibits Development of the Nematodes Heterodera avenae and Meloidogyne marylandi in Cereals

April 2007 , Volume 97 , Number  4
Pages  396 - 404

Yuji Oka , Nadia Tkachi , and Mishael Mor

First and second authors: Nematology Unit, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Gilat Research Center, M. P. Negev 85280, Israel; and third author: Department of Entomology and Nematology, ARO, the Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel

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Accepted for publication 8 October 2006.

Phosphonic acid (H3PO3) solutions were applied to wheat or to bristle oat as soil drenches before inoculation with juveniles of the sedentary, endoparasitic nematodes Heterodera avenae or Meloidogyne marylandi. All the solutions, which were pH adjusted and added at levels as low as 0.63 mg of phosphite (HPO32-) per plant, reduced the numbers of H. avenae females and M. marylandi egg masses. Phosphate (PO43-), applied as potassium phosphate at the same concentrations, did not reduce the number of female nematodes on the wheat. Addition of phosphate to the phosphite solutions did not change the inhibitory effect of phosphite on H. avenae, but it reduced phosphite's effect on M. marylandi. Phosphite also reduced the number of H. avenae females when applied as many as 20 days after addition of nematodes. The phosphite treatment did not prevent M. marylandi juveniles from penetrating wheat roots or inducing giant cells. However, phosphite inhibited giant cell development: 14 days after inoculation, the giant cells in the phosphite-treated wheat were almost completely vacuolated, whereas those in untreated wheat contained dense cytoplasm.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society