Nematode-Resistant Varieties Have Benefits for Cotton Producers

Clint Thompson Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC)

Photo courtesy of UGA CAES Newswire/Cotton roots infected with root-knot nematodes swell in response to the infection. These knots serve as feeding sites where nematodes (microscopic worms) grow, produce more eggs and stunt the plant’s growth.

By Clint Thompson

The Georgia Cotton Commission and University of Georgia (UGA) Extension Cotton Team remind growers about the benefits of implementing nematode-resistant varieties for the 2024 season.

Bob Kemerait, UGA Extension plant pathologist, talked with AgNet Media’s Randall Weiseman and discussed those benefits at the commission’s annual meeting in January.

Bob Kemerait discusses the benefits of using nematode-resistant varieties in cotton.

Nematodes are microscopic worms that can devastate cotton and other row crops. Root-knot nematodes can be the most problematic because of their wide host range. They feed on cotton roots and cause swelling, or “galls,” to develop. The galls disrupt the function of the roots, which stunts the plant’s growth. Further, female nematodes feed and lay eggs at the galls.

Kemerait also addressed the yield concerns growers have if they are planning to utilize these resistant varieties.

Bob Kemerait discusses the yield concerns that growers could have with resistant varieties.