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Relationship of Preplant Population Densities of Meloidogyne incognita to Damage in Three Chile Pepper Cultivars. S. H. Thomas, Associate Professor, Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science. L. W. Murray, Associate Professor, and M. Cardenas, Professor, Department of Experimental Statistics, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces 88003. Plant Dis. 79:557-559. Accepted for publication 24 February 1995. Copyright 1995 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-79-0557.

Plant growth response and yield for three chile pepper (Capsicum annuum) cultivars were evaluated at different preplant populations of Meloidogyne incognita race 3 in microplots dur-ing two growing seasons. All cultivars were susceptible to M. incognita in sandy loam soil, with cv. New Mexico 6-4 being most severely damaged. Fruit weight of this cultivar was reduced 10% at preplant nematode densities of 12 eggs and second-stage juveniles per 500 cm3 of soil. Pod production was also suppressed (P < 0.05) for cv. Sandia at 33 or more eggs and juveniles per 500 cm3 of soil and for cv. Jalapeno at 95 or more eggs and juveniles. Soil populations of M. incognita in Jalapeno plots were lower than those associated with other cultivars at harvest. Low populations of M. incognita that potentially damage New Mexico 6-4 might require soil bioassay techniques for detection.