Screening wild and cultivated cucurbits against root knot nematode to exploit as rootstocks for grafting in cucumber

C. Thangamani, L. Pugalendhi, V. Punithaveni


Yield of mono-cropped cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is reduced by root knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita Kofoid and White). Use of resistant rootstocks in grafting may overcome the problem. Cucurbitaceous species were screened against root knot nematode to evaluate their use as rootstocks in grafting. Inoculation was with nematodes @ 2 J2·g-1 (J2 = second stage juvenile) of soil in pot culture at the 1 to 2 true leaf stage, 45 days after inoculation, plants were uprooted and observations made to calculate Root Knot Nematode Index (RKI). Cucurbita moschata, Cucumis metuliferus, Citrullus colocynthis and Cucumis callosus were resistant having a RKI-2. Cucurbita ficifolia, Cucurbita maxima, Cucumis melo sub sp. agrestis were moderately resistant with a RKI-3. Total phenols content in roots indicates plant resistance to M. incognita. Cucumis metuliferus had the highest mean total phenols content (16.98 mg·g- 1 of root) followed by Citrullus colocynthis (16.08 mg·g-1 of root) and Cucurbita moschata (15.37mg·g-1 of root). Resistant rootstocks possessed higher peroxidase and PPO activity than susceptible ones. Cucumis metuliferus had the highest value of peroxidase and PPO activity (3.83 OD·min-1·g-1 of root and 3.67 OD·min-1·g-1 of root) followed by Citrullus colocynthis (3.26 and 3.63 OD·min-1·g-1 of root), Cucumis callosus (3.02 and 2.98 OD·min-1·g-1 of root) and Cucurbita moschata (2.93 and 2.94 OD·min-1·g-1 of root). Cucumber scions, ‘Green Long’ and ‘NS 408’ had lower peroxidase and PPO activity of 0.64 and 1.42 OD·min-1·g-1 and 0.57 and 1.31 OD·min- 1·g-1 of root, respectively. Resistant and moderately resistant cucurbitaceous species may be used for further studies possibly leading to improved yield.


Meloidogyne incognita - Root Knot Nematode Index - Phenols – Peroxidase - PPO

Full Text:



Amin, A.W., A. Wanis, M. Tomader, and G. Abdel

Rahman. 2012. Evaluation of some

cucurbitaceous rootstocks. 1 - For resistance/

susceptibility to root-knot nematode and

fusarium wilt under screenhouse conditions.

Egyptian J. Agric. Res. 90(4):1561-1577.

Anwar, S.A. and M.V. McKenry, 2012. Incidence

and population density of plant-parasitic

nematodes infecting vegetable crops and

associated yield losses. Pakistan J. Zool.


Balasubramanian, M. and D. Purushothaman. 1972.

Phenolic contents of root knot affected

tissues. Indian J. Nematol. 2:77-94.

Barons, K.C. 1939. Studies of the nature of root

knot resistance. J. Agric. Res. 58:263-271.

Bray, H.G. and W.V. Thrope. 1954. Analysis of

phenolic compounds of interest in metabolism.

Meth. Biochem. Anal. 1:27-52.

Cobb, N.A. 1918. Estimating the nematode

population of soil. Technology Circular 1, U.S.

Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Davis, E.L., R.S. Hussey, T.J. Baum, J. Bakker, A.

Schots, M.N. Rosso and P. Abad. 2000.

Nematode parasitism genes. Ann. Rev.

Phytopath. 38:365-396.

Hadisoeganda, W.W. and J.N. Sasser. 1982.

Resistance of tomato, bean, southern pea and

garden pea cultivars to root knot nematodes

based on host suitability. Plant Dis. 66:145-

Heald, C.M., B.D. Bruton and R.M. Davis. 1989.

Influence of Glomus intradices and soil

phosphorus on M. incognita infecting

Cucumis melo. J. Nematol. 21:69-73.

Ibrahim, K.S. 1991. Peroxidase isoenzymes from

Meloidogyne cultured on different hosts. Rev.

Nematol. 14:335-344.

Krishnaveni, M. and S. Subramanian. 2002. Rootknot

nematodes of cucurbits and their

management. National symposium on

biodiversity and management of nematodes

in cropping systems for sustainable

agriculture. Department of Nematology,

Agricultural Research Station, 11-13

November 2002, Durgapura, Jaipur, India

Panse, V.G. and P.V. Sukhatme. 1957. Statistical

methods for agricultural workers. Indian

Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.

Ploeg, A.T. and M.S. Phillips. 2001. Damage to

melon (Cucumis melo L.) cv. Durango by

Meloidogyne incognita in Southern

California. Nematology 3:151-158.

Roberts, P.A. and D. May. 1986. Meloidogyne

incognita resistance characteristics in tomato

genotypes developed for processing. J.

Nematol., 18: 173-178.

Sasser, J.N., H.R. Powers and G.B. Lucas. 1957.

Effect of root knot nematodes on the

expression of black shank resistance in

tobacco. Physiopathology 43:483-89.

Siguenza, C., M. Schochow, T. Turini, and A.

Ploeg.2005. Use of Cucumis metuliferus as

a rootstock for melon to manage

Meloidogyne incognita. J. Nematol. 37:276


Schindler, A.F. 1961. A simple substitute for a

Baermann funnel. Plant Dis. Rptr. 45:747-

Srivastava, S.K. 1987. Peroxidase and polyphenol

oxidase in Brassica juncea plants infected

with Macrophomina phaseolina (Tassi.)

Goid and their implication in disease

resistance. J. Phytopath. 120:249-254.

Tamilselvi, N.A.T. 2013. Grafting studies in bitter

gourd (Momordica charantia L.). PhD

(Horticulture) Thesis, Depa rtment of

Vegetable Crops, Tamil Nadu Agricultural

University, Coimbatore.

Trudgill, D.L. 1995. Origins of root-knot nematodes

(Meloidogyne spp.) in relation to their

cultural control. Phytoparasitica 23:191-194.

Williamson, V.M. 1999. Plant nematode resistance

genes. Curr. Plant Biol. 2:327-331.

Williamson, V.M. and A. Kumar. 2006. Nematode

resistance in plants: The battle underground.

Trends Genet. 22:396-403.

Williamson, V.M. and R.S. Hussey. 1996. Nematode

pathogenesis and resistance in plants. Plant

Cell, 8:1735-1745.

Zacheo, G. and T.B. Zacheo. 1995. Plant-nematode

interactions: Histological, physiological and

biochemical interactions, pp. 321-353, In: K.

Kohmoto, U.M., Singh, and R.P. Singh (eds.).

Pathogenesis and host specificity in plant

diseases. Elsevier Science, Oxford, UK.

Copyright (c) 2019 C. Thangamani, L. Pugalendhi, V. Punithaveni

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.