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Nematode Tolerance Increases Drought Stress in Young Oat Plants

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For more content, see Nematology.

The role of drought avoidance mechanisms in tolerance to Heterodera avenae was examined in two oat cultivars differing in tolerance to this nematode. Withholding water for 8 days in 22-day-old nematode-infested plants increased the rate of leaf dehydration in the nematode tolerant, compared to the intolerant cultivar. This was attributed to greater root growth inhibition in the intolerant cultivar, resulting in a slower rate of dehydration despite higher stomatal conductance in the infested intolerant cultivar. The results suggest that mechanisms that alleviate water deficit stress could play a role in determining tolerance of cereals to H. avenae but only under well-defined conditions.

Affiliations: 1: Agriculture Canada Research Station, P.O. Box 3000, Main, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada T1J 4B1


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