The peanut root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne arenaria (Neal) Chitwood race 1] causes significant economic losses throughout the peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) production area of the southern United States. Chemicals for control of this pest are becoming increasingly limited, and there are no known sources of resistance within the U. S. A. hypogaea collection. The objectives of this research were to screen 1,321 plant introductions for resistance or hypersusceptibility based on egg-mass ratings in greenhouse tests and to conduct more intensive greenhouse studies of selected genotypes to evaluate this method for identifying resistance to the peanut root-knot nematode. Twenty-seven genotypes with low and eight genotypes with high egg-mass ratings were selected and reevaluated in a more intensive greenhouse experiment. Seventeen of the low selections supported fewer (P≤0.05) egg masses, and seven supported less egg production per gram of fresh root weight than Florunner. Three selections for high egg-mass ratings supported more nematode eggs per plant than the cultivar Florunner and had a greater host efficiency. One of these genotypes supported more nematode eggs per gram of fresh root weight than Florunner. These results show that resistance to M. arenaria exists in the cultivated peanut species and can be selected by rating egg-mass production on greenhouse-grown plants.

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Author notes

1Cooperative investigation of the USDA-ARS and University of Georgia, College of Agriculture.