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1.  Population Dynamics and Dispersal of Aphelenchoides fragariae in Nursery-grown Lantana 
Journal of Nematology  2010;42(4):332-341.
Population dynamics of Aphelenchoides fragariae were assessed over three growing seasons and during overwintering for naturally-infected, container-grown lantana (Latana camara) plants in a North Carolina nursery. During the growing season, the foliar nematode population in symptomatic leaves peaked in July each year then remained above 100 nematodes/g fresh weight into late summer. Foliar nematodes were also detected in asymptomatic and abscised leaves. Results suggest that leaves infected with foliar nematodes first develop symptoms at populations of about 10 nematodes/g. Foliar nematodes were detected in symptomatic and asymptomatic plant leaves and in abscised leaves during overwintering in a polyhouse, but the number of infected plants was low. A steep disease gradient was found for infection of lantana plants by A. fragariae on a nursery pad with sprinkler irrigation. When the canopies of initially healthy plants were touching the canopies of an infected plants, 100% of the plants became infected within 11 wk, but only 5 to 10% became infected at a canopy distance of 30 cm. Overwintering of A. fragariae in infected plants and a steep disease gradient during the growing season suggests strict sanitation and an increase in plant spacing are needed to mitigate losses from this nematode pest.
PMCID: PMC3380520  PMID: 22736867
Aphelenchoides fragariae; detection; dispersal; ecology; foliar nematode; Lantana camara; management; nursery; ornamental crop; population dynamics; Salvia farinaeae
2.  Conventional and PCR Detection of Aphelenchoides fragariae in Diverse Ornamental Host Plant Species 
Journal of Nematology  2007;39(4):343-355.
A PCR-based diagnostic assay was developed for early detection and identification of Aphelenchoides fragariae directly in host plant tissues using the species-specific primers AFragFl and AFragRl that amplify a 169-bp fragment in the internal transcribed spacer (ITS1) region of ribosomal DNA. These species-specific primers did not amplify DNA from Aphelenchoides besseyi or Aphelenchoides ritzemabosi. The PCR assay was sensitive, detecting a single nematode in a background of plant tissue extract. The assay accurately detected A. fragariae in more than 100 naturally infected, ornamental plant samples collected in North Carolina nurseries, garden centers and landscapes, including 50 plant species not previously reported as hosts of Aphelenchoides spp. The detection sensitivity of the PCR-based assay was higher for infected yet asymptomatic plants when compared to the traditional, water extraction method for Aphelenchoides spp. detection. The utility of using NaOH extraction for rapid preparation of total DNA from plant samples infected with A. fragariae was demonstrated.
PMCID: PMC2586516  PMID: 19259510
Aphelenchoides fragariae; detection; diagnosis; foliar nematode; ITS1; method; NaOH; ornamental host; PCR; rDNA
3.  Influence of Kernel Age on Fumonisin B1 Production in Maize by Fusarium moniliforme 
Production of fumonisins by Fusarium moniliforme on naturally infected maize ears is an important food safety concern due to the toxic nature of this class of mycotoxins. Assessing the potential risk of fumonisin production in developing maize ears prior to harvest requires an understanding of the regulation of toxin biosynthesis during kernel maturation. We investigated the developmental-stage-dependent relationship between maize kernels and fumonisin B1 production by using kernels collected at the blister (R2), milk (R3), dough (R4), and dent (R5) stages following inoculation in culture at their respective field moisture contents with F. moniliforme. Highly significant differences (P ≤ 0.001) in fumonisin B1 production were found among kernels at the different developmental stages. The highest levels of fumonisin B1 were produced on the dent stage kernels, and the lowest levels were produced on the blister stage kernels. The differences in fumonisin B1 production among kernels at the different developmental stages remained significant (P ≤ 0.001) when the moisture contents of the kernels were adjusted to the same level prior to inoculation. We concluded that toxin production is affected by substrate composition as well as by moisture content. Our study also demonstrated that fumonisin B1 biosynthesis on maize kernels is influenced by factors which vary with the developmental age of the tissue. The risk of fumonisin contamination may begin early in maize ear development and increases as the kernels reach physiological maturity.
PMCID: PMC91428  PMID: 10388675

Results 1-3 (3)