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Effects of soil types and Meloidogyne hapla on the multi-purpose uses of arugula (Eruca sativa)

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Developing multi-purpose alternatives to synthetic nematicides for managing the northern root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne hapla, a problem in a variety of temperate vegetable and nursery crop production soils, continues to be challenging. Arugula (Eruca sativa), a high-end green vegetable crop with biofumigant and cover crop attributes, is an effective trap crop (dead-end host) for populations of M. hapla in sandy loam soil. Exploiting arugula's multi-purpose attributes, however, depends on understanding its interaction with M. hapla under a range of conditions. The objectives of this study were to determine if soil types affect: i) the ability of M. hapla to infect arugula; and ii) if M. hapla infection has any effect on arugula's vegetative quality in the respective soils. When 2-week-old arugula cv. Roquette seedlings were inoculated with either 0 (control), 4000 or 8000 M. hapla eggs per 300 cm3 of either sandy, sandy loam or muck soil, and maintained for 23 and 24 days (28±2°C), more nematodes were recovered from sandy loam soil. However, the numbers of nematodes recovered between the inocula were similar in the three soil types and nematode infection had no effect on plant growth or nutritional quality. However, the growth and leaf nutritional quantity of arugula were significantly affected by soil type. The results support the hypothesis that M. hapla will infect arugula in different soil types without affecting its vegetative quantity and quality, providing the basis for testing arugula's trap, vegetable and, possibly, biofumigant attributes from one seeding in fields where M. hapla exists.

Affiliations: 1: Agricultural Nematology Laboratory, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA;, Email:; 2: Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA


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