Nematode Control Approaches

Planting resistant crop varieties has historically been one of the most effective control measures for many plant diseases. However, there are currently no russet varieties with resistance to potato cyst nematodes. One major goal of the GLOBAL project is to develop such new varieties. The fumigant methyl bromide has also been used extensively for the eradication of cyst nematodes and other soilborne plant pathogens. However, use of this chemical has been increasingly restricted. Other nematode control measures, including the use of non-host trap crops, microbial biocontrol agents, and plant products that contain naturally-produced nematicidal compounds, are promising control approaches.

Methyl bromide fumigation has historically been used to control nematodes and other pests in a number of crops (USDA photo)
Methyl bromide fumigation has historically been used to control nematodes and other pests in a number of crops (USDA photo)

Pale Cyst Nematode in Idaho: A Grower's Perspective

In 2006, pale cyst nematode (PCN) was detected in potato fields near Shelley, Idaho.  Searle Farms eventually had fields quarantined and regulated because of PCN infestation.  Owner-grower, Bryan Searle recounts the economic challenges, as well as the social impact he encountered as a result. 

Presented at Potato Association of American (PAA) 2018 Symposium 'Impact of Quarantined Pests on the Potato Industry,' Boise, ID. July 2018. 

Pamela J.S. Hutchinson, Potato Cropping Weed Scientist, University of Idaho

Trap Cropping

Researchers have been testing the efficacy of using Solanum sisymbriifolium (also known as litichi tomato or sticky nightshade) as a non-host trap crop to help eliminate PCN in eastern Idaho.  Results have been promising.

Litichi Tomato: Trap crop for Globodera pallida control (Potato Progress, 2016)535.32 KB

Suicide hatch crop may be partial answer to eastern Idaho's PCN dilemma (Spudman, Nov. 3, 2016)

Tina Gresham, Director, USDA-APHIS Pale Cyst Nematode Program, was among the speakers at the Snake River Pest Management Tour

Pale Cyst Nematode Field Tour

The 2017 Snake River Pest Management Tour -- sponsored by the University of Idaho's Aberdeen Research and Extension Center -- provides an update on work to control and eradicate the pale cyst nematode.  Presented to potato growers and the community in southern Idaho in summer 2017.  Presenters include Pamela J.S. Hutchinson, UI; Tina Gresham, USDA-APHIS; and UI graduate students Jn Bertrand Contina and Cole Harder.