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A resistant pepper used as a trap cover crop in vegetable production strongly decreases root-knot nematode infestation in soil

  • Navarrete, Mireille1
  • Djian-Caporalino, Caroline2
  • Mateille, Thierrry3
  • Palloix, Alain4
  • Sage-Palloix, Anne-Marie4
  • Lefèvre, Amélie5
  • Fazari, Ariane2
  • Marteu, Nathalie2
  • Tavoillot, Johannes3
  • Dufils, Arnaud1
  • Furnion, Claudine1
  • Pares, Laure5
  • Forest, Isabelle6
  • 1 INRA UR767, Ecodéveloppement, 228 route de l’aérodrome, Avignon cedex 09, 84914, France , Avignon cedex 09 (France)
  • 2 INRA UMR 1355, Institut Sophia Agrobiotech, 400 route des Chappes, Sophia, 06903, France , Sophia (France)
  • 3 IRD UMR CBGP, 755 Avenue du Campus de Baillarguet Agropolis, Montferrier Sur Lez, 34988, France , Montferrier Sur Lez (France)
  • 4 INRA UR1052, Génétique et Amélioration des Fruits et Légumes, Montfavet Cedex 09, 84143, France , Montfavet Cedex 09 (France)
  • 5 INRA UE0411, Domaine Expérimental d’Alénya Roussillon, Alénya, 66200, France , Alénya (France)
  • 6 Chambre d’Agriculture du Var, 727 avenue Alfred Décugis, Hyères, 83400, France , Hyères (France)
Published Article
Agronomy for Sustainable Development
Publication Date
Nov 09, 2016
DOI: 10.1007/s13593-016-0401-y
Springer Nature


Root-knot nematodes are causing serious economic losses of vegetable production. Actual agroecological control solutions are not effective enough to control this pest or are difficult to implement in farms. There is little knowledge on the use of crops to trap nematodes in protected cultivation systems. Therefore, we tested a resistant pepper as a trap crop for root-knot nematodes over 4 years in a commercial farm and an experimental station in Southern France. The effects of pepper trap crop on plant damages and soil infestation were compared with a sorghum cover crop. We also surveyed 28 local vegetable farmers for their interest concerning the possible use of the pepper trap crop. Our results show that nematode infestation of the soil decreased by 99 and 80 % after the first and second implementation of the trap crop. The gall index measured on Swiss chard decreased from 2.5 to less than 1 after 4 years. Respectively, 21 and 36 % of farmers found the cropping system completely and partially acceptable. The most interested farmers were those having sufficient labor and available land in summer. Farmer criticisms were higher nursery costs and planting duration, versus sorghum. Overall, this is the first design of a cropping system using a resistant cultivar as a dead-end trap crop for root-knot nematodes. The process used, moving from a genetic construct to agronomic innovation through an interdisciplinary and participatory approach, holds promise for scientists seeking new integrated pest management approaches to increase the sustainability of agriculture.

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