Occurrence of Belonolaimus longicaudatus on Hermudagrass in the Coachella Valley. M. Mundo-Ocampo, Department of Nematology, University of California, Riverside 92521. J. O. Becker, and J. G. Baldwin, Department of Nematology, University of California, Riverside 92521. Plant Dis. 78:529. Accepted for publication 25 January 1994. Copyright 1994 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-78-0529B.
Large patches of poor growth of bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.) were observed for several years during the summer months on a golf course in the Coachella Valley, an inland desert region of southern California. In 1992, the problem became worse, and the affected turf exhibited symptoms of drought stress and nutritional deficit. The bermudagrass did not respond to an increase of watering or fertilization. Newly sown turf died or was only weakly established. Soil samples from bermudagrass sod were extracted for nematodes using a combination of wet sieving and sugar centrifugation. High numbers of the sting nematode, Belonolaimus longicaudatus Ran, were recovered in all samples from affected areas. Subsequent surveys by the California Department of Food and Agriculture revealed the presence of this nematode in at least seven additional golf courses in the Coachella Valley. We also found B. longicaudatus in two bermudagrass home lawns adjacent to one of the If courses. In greenhouse pot experiments, sting nematodes isolated Coachella Valley turf suppressed bermudagrass root growth and caused stunting and chlorosis. This is the first report of B. longicaudatus California.