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Quantitative Analysis of Growth, Mineral Composition and Ion Balance of the Potato Cultivar Irene Infested With Globodera Pallida (Stone)

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The susceptible, late potato cultivar 'Irene' was grown in pots at a range of population densities of Globodera pallida pathotype Pa 3 in a growth room: growth and yield were not reduced by initial nematode numbers fewer than 35 eggs/g soil, whereas in glasshouse and field experiments growth and yield were decreased when more than 2 eggs/g soil were present. Growth retardation in the growth room was associated with reduced water consumption/g haulm/day and increased dry matter content of the haulms. These phenomena suggest that in the growth room only Seinhorst's 'second mechanism of growth reduction' was effective and that his 'first mechanism of growth reduction' (the main cause for yield losses in the field) was not operating. The concentrations of K+, NO3- and PO43- in the haulms decreased with 185 and 975 eggs/g soil. Ca2+ concentration increased with 35, 185 and 975 eggs/g soil, leading to an increased Ca/K ratio with 185 and 975 eggs/g soil, which was in accordance with the reduction of water consumption/g haulm/day, observed with the same nematode numbers. Cl- concentration was not affected by nematode attack, whereas Na + increased with 975 eggs/g soil. The (C-A), i.e. organic anion, concentrations of plants grown with nematode densities of 185 and 975 eggs/g soil also increased by comparison with that of plants with fewer nematodes. Mechanical damage to root tips by the nematodes probably interfered with ion uptake and ion excretion, thus modifying the mineral composition of the potato haulms and causing the phenomena associated with Seinhorst's 'second mechanism of growth reduction'.

Affiliations: 1: Research Institute for Plant Protection, Wageningen, The Netherlands


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