Effects of root-knot nematodes on growth of three species of woody ornamental plants

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute


An investigation of the effect of Meloidogyne hapla, M. arenaria, M. arenaria thamesi, M. incognita acrita, and M. incognita on Ligustrum ovalifolium, L. japonicum, and Abelia floribunda was conducted. With the exception of M. hapla on L. ovalifolium and M. arenaria thamesi on A. floribunda, all 5 species of nematodes were pathogenic on the 3 host species.

Striking differences in growth of the L. ovalifolium plants inoculated with the 4 root-knot species that caused significant reduction could easily be seen. Reduction in weight of the plants inoculated with the 4 root-knot species varied from 39.8% to 63.6% of the controls, and the reduction in total length of stems of these plants varied from 37.2% to 58.5% of the controls at the termination of the experiment.

Reduction in weight of the L. japonicum plants inoculated with root-knot species varied from 29.2% to 51.7% of the controls. All plants inoculated with root-knot were significantly reduced in weight compared to controls. There were no visual differences in growth among the A. floribunda treatments; however, omitting the M. arenaria thamesi treatment which was not significantly different from control, the reduction in weight of the inoculated plants varied from 26.81 to 41.71 of the controls.