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Some Factors Influencing Nematode Reproduction and the Growth of Tomatoes Infected With Meloidogyne Javanica

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For more content, see Nematology.

Nematode numbers, soil moisture, soil salinity and plant age influenced the rates of invasion and reproduction of M. javanica in tomato roots and the growth of the host plant. In a multi-factorial experiment, moisture, nutrients, soil pore size and nematode numbers influenced plant growth; there were significant interactions between high nematode numbers and small soil pores and between high nematode numbers and low soil fertility on plant growth. Infected plants showed least rate of growth when they were exposed initially to a soil moisture that was optimal for invasion followed by a soil moisture that was suboptimal for plant growth. It is suggested that severe crop losses in the field may be indicative of an interaction between nematode numbers and some environmental factor causing stress to the plant. In most cases however, it is difficult, without ecological studies, to assess whether nematodes are the main cause of reduction in plant growth as many other factors may be of equal or greater importance.

Affiliations: 1: Division of Horticultural Research, CSIRO, Glen Osmond, Adelaide, South Australia


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