Insect Pests

Nematode Distribution Survey in Michigan Wheat Growing Areas

Research by Dr. Marisol Quintanilla, Elisabeth Darling, Luisa Parrado, et al.

2023 Report:  First Plant-Parasitic Nematode Distribution Survey in Representative Wheat Growing Areas in Michigan

In 2022, Dr. Quintanilla undertook Michigan’s first-ever survey of the prevalence of common plant-parasitic nematodes in winter wheat. The survey took place in five Michigan wheat producing counties: Jackson, Oceana, Monroe, Sanilac and Tuscola.

Nematodes can be very damaging to wheat yields, and build up over time due to crop rotation and lack of nematicidal soil treatments.  Using soil and root samples, Quintanilla’s team found seven common nematode genera in wheat fields. They reported that 73% of their root samples on these farms included root lesion nematodes, and that 100% of the Michigan wheat fields sampled had at least one root lesion nematode.

In the next step, individual nematodes were isolated with special focus on three root lesion nematode species. If future work is funded, the team would like to study root lesion nematode impacts in greenhouse conditions to learn which wheat varieties are more or less tolerant of the nematodes.

Click below to review the 2023 final written report on this project.