Evaluation of Plant Parasitic Nematodes in Organic and Conventional Gardening Systems

Document Type : Research Article


1 Master's student, Department of Agroecology, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Research Institute of Environmental Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran

3 Environmental Science / Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management

4 Research Institute of Environmental Sciences




One of the most effective ways to preserve biodiversity is to convert conventional systems into organic ones. The organic farming system has reduced the negative effects of intensive management. The biomass of the soil ecosystem has different responses in management methods including tillage, fertilizer and defense inputs, and organic modifiers. Understanding the role and responses of biomass in different cropping systems is essential to support sustainable horticultural practices in managing plant-parasitic nematode.

Materials and Methods

Sampling has been done from two organic farming systems, conventional and pasture, in order to identify the morphology of soil plant parasitic nematodes, soil physicochemical characteristics, and microbial respiration. Plant parasitic nematodes Nematodes were extracted, killed, fixed, and transferred to glycerin and permanent slides were prepared. The effect of the type of cultivation system on the abundance and diversity of plant parasitic nematodes in common and organic apple and peach orchards compared to pasture were investigated by multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) in Xlastat 2020 software.

Results and Discussion

20 Genera belonging to 11 families of plant-parasitic nematodes were identified, which had different frequencies based on the type of cropping systems and crops. The comparison of the type of organic cultivation system with the common showed that it had a significant effect on the frequency and diversity of plant parasitic nematodes; the highest frequency of the nematode genus in organic peach cultivation system is Gracilacus and the lowest frequency is Scutylenchus genus in common apple cultivation. The abundance of nematode family in organic system is more than common and the abundance of nematode family in peach organic system is more than apple organic system. It should be mentioned that the common apple system is close to pasture in terms of abundance; The abundance of nematode family in the common system of peach is more than the common system of apple. The type of cultivation system had a significant effect on the frequency and diversity of Pratylenchus, Helicotylenchus, Tylenchus, and Rotylenchus genera, while it did not have a significant effect on the Gracilacus genus. Type of host plant had a significant effect on the frequency and diversity of plant parasitic nematodes definitely in all soil condition variables. The type of host plant was significant on the frequency of all plant nematodes except Tylenchus and a significant effect on the diversity of all except Tylenchus and Rotylenchus. Among all soil factors, microbial respiration, EC, OC, K, P, and texture (percentage of soil particles including sand, silt, and clay) had a significant effect on all lineages of nematodes.


We saw the significant differences in community structure in plant parasitic nematode communities in three systems. The results of the present research have shown that the frequency and diversity nematodes are different from the results of other researchers in apple and peach orchards, that plant types and cultivars, basic genotype, or soil management practices affect the composition of plant parasitic nematode community groups. In our study, the abundance and diversity of nematode in the organic system was more than in pasture, and conventinal agriculture with more than 10 years of history, including tillage and chemical inputs, and organic matter loss, erosion, and low in the soil agroecosystem. The reduction of the plant parasitic nematode in the conventional system compared to the organic system is caused by the reduction of organic matter, tillage, or chemical inputs. The results showed that the type of product and management practices affect nematode communities. The composition of soil nematode communities is significantly different in organic, conventional, and pasture farming systems. The organic peach and apple system is facing an increase in nematodes more than conventional. It seems that plant parasitic nematodes are sensitive to soil management practices. Soil nematodes are useful indicators to evaluate the intensity of management and sustainable management of horticultural ecosystems on soil ecosystem performance; because they have several feeding habits in soil, and micronutrient networks and play an important role in the food cycle, pest suppression, and regulation of microbial communities. Theare were high pest pressure of nematodes in the organic peach farming system in comparision to the apple farming system. In this research, apple is better than the peach for organic production in Damavand orchards. In addition, growers consider peaches better than apples due to market and price considerations. With the increase in the demand and price of organic products, the organic system is facing high pest pressure due to fewer management options compared to the conventional system, which requires the development of integrated plant nematode management strategies.


Main Subjects