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Responses of Tomato Genotypes to Avirulent and Mi-Virulent Meloidogyne javanica Isolates Occurring in Israel

May 2014 , Volume 104 , Number  5
Pages  484 - 496

Ionit Iberkleid, Rachel Ozalvo, Lidia Feldman, Moshe Elbaz, Bucki Patricia, and Sigal Brown Horowitz

First, second, third, fifth, and sixth authors: Department of Entomology, Nematology and Chemistry units, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), the Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel; first author: Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel; and fourth author: Negev Research and Development Station, Habsor Farm, Israel.

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Accepted for publication 19 November 2013.

The behavior of naturally virulent Meloidogyne isolates toward the tomato resistance gene Mi in major tomato-growing areas in Israel was studied for the first time. Virulence of seven selected isolates was confirmed over three successive generations on resistant (Mi-carrying) and susceptible (non-Mi-carrying) tomato cultivars. Diagnostic markers verified the predominance of Meloidogyne javanica among virulent isolates selected on resistant tomato cultivars or rootstocks. To better understand the determinants of nematode selection on Mi-carrying plants, reproduction of Mi-avirulent and virulent isolates Mjav1 and Mjv2, respectively, measured as eggs per gram of root, on non-Mi-carrying, heterozygous (Mi/mi) and homozygous (Mi/Mi) genotypes was evaluated. Although no reproduction of Mjav1 was observed on Mi/Mi genotypes, some reproduction was consistently observed on Mi/mi plants; reproduction of Mjv2 on the homozygous and heterozygous genotypes was similar to that on susceptible cultivars, suggesting a limited quantitative effect of the Mi gene. Histological examination of giant cells induced by Mi-virulent versus avirulent isolates confirmed the high virulence of Mjv2 on Mi/mi and Mi/Mi genotypes, allowing the formation of well-developed giant-cell systems despite the Mi gene. Analysis of the plant defense response in tomato Mi/Mi, Mi/mi, and mi/mi genotypes to both avirulent and virulent isolates was investigated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Although the jasmonate (JA)-signaling pathway was clearly upregulated by avirulent and virulent isolates on the susceptible (not carrying Mi) and heterozygous (Mi/mi) plants, no change in signaling was observed in the homozygous (Mi/Mi) resistant line following incompatible interaction with the avirulent isolate. Thus, similar to infection promoted by the avirulent isolate on the susceptible genotype, the Mi-virulent isolate induced the JA-dependent pathway, which might promote tomato susceptibility during the compatible interaction with the homozygous (Mi/Mi) resistant line. These results have important consequences for the management of Mi resistance genes for ensuring sustainable tomato farming.

Additional keywords: dosage effect, root-knot nematode.

© 2014 The American Phytopathological Society