Consistent responses of yield and resistance of wheat cultivars to the root-lesion nematode, Pratylenchus thornei, in the Australian northern subtropical region, but not in the temperate southern region

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Plant Pathology


Print: 0032-0862 Electronic: 1365-3059


Agronomy and Crop Sciences


To understand the yield response of cereal cultivars to Pratylenchus thornei, eight experiments were conducted within the subtropical northern, and temperate southern grain-producing regions of Australia. Wheat cultivars (Triticum aestivum) ranging from susceptible to moderately resistant to P. thornei were grown in Year 1 to establish a range of population densities. In Year 2 before sowing, P. thornei was quantified in each plot and six cereal cultivars were each grown on a similar range of population densities (average minimum to maximum of 3.4–60.6 P. thornei/g soil); P. thornei was quantified again at harvest. In the four experiments in the northern region there was a significant, negative logarithmic response of yield of the three most intolerant/susceptible cultivars as P. thornei population densities increased (yield decreased 172–479 kg/ha per unit increase in loge-transformed P. thornei/g soil). The responsiveness of yield to increasing P. thornei population densities diminished as the tolerance and resistance of the cultivars improved. In the southern region, there was no relationship between yield and P. thornei in three experiments and minor, positive increases in one experiment (1.6 kg/ha per unit increase in P. thornei/g soil). Across both regions, the change in P. thornei population densities from sowing to harvest was logarithmic and positive, and generally greatest in the northern region. The contrast of responses of cereal cultivars between the regions, despite similar population densities of P. thornei, is indicative of the influence of the environment particularly on tolerance, therefore management with a regional focus is essential.



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