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Effects of Crop Rotations and Tillage on Pratylenchus spp. in the Semiarid Pacific Northwest United States

April 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  4
Pages  537 - 546

Richard W. Smiley , Professor , Stephen Machado , Associate Professor , Jennifer A. Gourlie , Faculty Research Assistant , Larry C. Pritchett , Faculty Research Assistant , Guiping Yan , Research Associate , and Erling E. Jacobsen , Farm Manager, Oregon State University, Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center, Pendleton 97801

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Accepted for publication 12 November 2012.

There is interest in converting rainfed cropping systems in the Pacific Northwest from a 2-year rotation of winter wheat and cultivated fallow to direct-seed (no-till) systems that include chemical fallow, spring cereals, and food legume and brassica crops. Little information is available regarding effects of these changes on plant-parasitic nematodes. Eight cropping systems in a low-precipitation region (<330 mm) were compared over 9 years. Each phase of each rotation occurred each year. The density of Pratylenchus spp. was greater in cultivated than chemical fallow, became greater with increasing frequency of host crops, and was inversely associated with precipitation (R2 = 0.92, α < 0.01). Densities after harvesting mustard, spring wheat, winter wheat, and winter pea were greater (α < 0.01) than after harvesting spring barley or spring pea. Camelina also produced low densities. Winter wheat led to a greater density of Pratylenchus neglectus and spring wheat led to a greater density of P. thornei. Density of Pratylenchus spp. was correlated (R2 = 0.88, α < 0.01) but generally higher when detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction on DNA extracts from soil than when detected by a traditional method. Selection of different Pratylenchus spp. by different wheat cultivars or growth habit must be addressed to minimize the level of nematode risk to future plantings of intolerant crops.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society