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Re: Foliar Nematode Research for Resistant Cultivars

Sandi Wrote:
  " As in human immunology, is it not possible that determining
varieities and just what makes them resistant may lead to the "cure"?
Just a
thought ..."

Sandie Markland
Lorton, Virginia
Zone 7


There are already potent nematicides on the market. Nemacur and Oxamyl
in their various form control nematodes and are in widespread use in
agriculture already. There are other interesting nematicides entering
the market also. The likelihood that a potent nematicide is found
naturally in hosta is almost nil.(IMO)

I do not believe research into the chemical makeup of hostas that are
resistant to foliar nematodes is going to yield a new nematicide. Even
if it did, this chemical would have to be manufactured so it could be
applied to hostas that are not resistant. As I stated earlier, chemicals
already exist to control nematodes. Research money spent in this
direction will be like trying to reinvent the wheel.

If hostas ARE found that are resistant to foliar nematodes it probably
would be possible to breed this trait into future hostas. There are
several drawbacks to spending AHS research money in this direction.

1) This research will do nothing to help with the foliar nematode
problem that already exist. All hostas that are susceptible to foliar
nematodes now will continue to be susceptible.

2) The payback would take many years as hybridizers tried to incorporate
this trait into their breeding program. Maybe longer than a decade.

3) This kind of information is already available by polling hosta
gardeners as to which hosta have foliar nematodes in their garden and
which ones do not. We already have thousands of test gardens (AHS
Members) and thousands of
cultivars to draw data from. Sending researchers in Ohio thousands of
cultivars of hosta so they can infect them with foliar nematodes so they
can see what happens sounds like the theme of a hosta sit com to me.

4) There are some agricultural crops that show resistance to soil born
nematodes. These crops get nematodes but are still able to produce a
profitable yield. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on
corn nematode research and still there are no varieties that are immune
to nematodes. Some cultivars are resistant, but not immune. Nematicides
are still widely used.

5) The damage we see on hostas is mostly cosmetic except when the
infestation is severe. There is a big difference between "cosmetic"  and
"economic" damage in a crop. Cosmetic damage occurs at a much lower
threshold (much lower damage level). It's the cosmetic damage that
bothers hosta gardeners usually. That and the fact that if you have a
few nematodes, they will continue to spread in your hosta patch.

What we need is a control for the nematode problem that now exists. I
have heard lots people tell of using Nemacur and Oxamyl to rid their
hostas of foliar nematodes.

It is my opinion that all of the $25,000. should go towards establishing
effective protocols using nematicides already on the market to control
foliar nematodes in hostas. It probably will cost at least 10 times this
amount in the long run anyway.

Then we need to petition the E.P.A for a special use status on these
nematicides so we can use them on our hostas.

We should also look more into the cooking method of riding hostas of
foliar nematodes.

Last year I used Vydate L (Oxamyl) and again this year as a preventive
treatment on an isolated patch of hostas infected with foliar nematodes.
I have seen no visible signs of foliar nematodes all season. I now have
50 lbs of Nemacur 15G to try also.

I sent some infected hostas to  Ohio State last season. When they asked
for more all I had were the ones I had treated with Oxamyl. I sent these
hostas in anyway and did not tell the researchers. Guess what? They
could not find foliar nematodes in my treated hostas. Am I being mean?

Just a thought.......


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