Root-lesion nematode (Pratylenchus thornei) reduces nutrient response, biomass and yield of wheat in sorghum–fallow–wheat cropping systems in a subtropical environment

Thompson, J.P. and Mackenzie, K. and Sheedy, G.H. (2012) Root-lesion nematode (Pratylenchus thornei) reduces nutrient response, biomass and yield of wheat in sorghum–fallow–wheat cropping systems in a subtropical environment. Field Crops Research, 137. pp. 126-140.

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Wheat in winter and grain sorghum in summer are the most important crops of the subtropical grain region of eastern Australia, where they are often grown in sequences of 1–4 years of each crop species separated by a long fallow period of 11–14 months. Growers have observed that the second wheat crop in sequence can appear nutrient deficient with poor growth and grain yield compared with the first or subsequent crops. To investigate this problem, wheat was grown in various field experiments as the first–fourth wheat in sequence after long fallow from sorghum sequences of various lengths (one–four years) to test for responses in biomass production and grain yield to fertilisers, biocidal fumigants and nematicides. Populations of root-lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus thornei) were greatest in the soil before the second wheat crop was sown than before the first or third wheat crops. Greatest responses in wheat growth were obtained to the nematicide aldicarb in various wheat sequence positions up to the fourth (up to 137% increased yield of second wheat). Aldicarb best protected the roots from P. thornei allowing increased nutrient response. The fumigants chloropicrin and dazomet caused substantial changes in soil microbial populations and available nutrients, but the systemic nematicides fenamiphos and aldicarb did not. Responses in grain yield were also obtained to N fertiliser and less frequently to P and Zn (41% increase of second wheat to NPZn fertiliser), with best overall responses to a combination of aldicarb and fertiliser. A range of tolerance to P. thornei, as judged by both grain yield from nil treatment and response to aldicarb and/or fertiliser, was identified among wheat cultivars. In comparison, one barley cultivar yielded maximally without treatment (up to 3.7 and 1.3 times the yield of the most intolerant and the most tolerant wheat cultivars, respectively). Integrated management using crop rotation with sorghum to reduce P. thornei populations combined with growing tolerant wheat and barley cultivars supplied with adequate fertiliser are practical measures to reduce the impact of P. thornei.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sorghum–wheat cropping systems, Root-lesion nematodes, Pratylenchus thonei, Nutrient deficiency, Tolerance, Wheat sequences, Second wheat disorder, Merlinius brevidens
Author Affiliation: Agri-Science Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Leslie Research Centre, PO Box 2282, Toowoomba, Qld 4350, Australia
Subjects: Plant Production
Divisions: Sorghum
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2012 08:22
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2012 08:22
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