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Field Experiments On Heterodera a Venae in France and Implications for Winter Wheat Performance

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Field experiments have been carried out in three different pedoclimatic locations which also differ in pathotype and ecotype characteristic of H. avenae. These trials mostly failed to establish larger numbers of cereal cyst nematode in rotations with frequent host crops. Several factors (damage to plants, competition between root pathogens, parasitic fungi) are discussed in relation to nematode population dynamics. Large differences in multiplication rates and equilibrium densities of the nematodes were found. Soil type seemed to affect these. Winter wheat growth and yield may be severely diminished by H. avenae in northern France. In field trials, stimulation of plant growth by small numbers of nematodes, predicted by theory, was clearly demonstrated. This could be due to better use of fertilizers by roots through increased root production caused by nematode infection. Suggestions for changes in rotations for H. avenae control can be provided for Advisory Services. In infested soils, rotations should include fewer than 50% of cereal hosts to maintain populations below the damage threshold. This frequency should be decreased in lighter soils to 25%. Resistant varieties offer real possibilities for nematode control but fungal parasitism requires further detailed investigation in France.

Affiliations: 1: I.N.R.A. , Laboratoire de la Chaire de Zoologie, Domaine de la Motte, 35650 Le Rheu, France


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