Effect of nematode control techniques on the growth and yield of plantain (MUSA SPP., AAB GROUP)

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for their control using different nematode control techniques were studied at the University of Ghana (ARS), Kade. In a micro-plot evaluation of the pest status of Pratylenchus coffeae, Helicotylenchus multicinctus and Meloidogyne javanica on plantain, all the species significantly (P< 0.05) reduced bunch weight, compared to the non-inoculated control. High inoculation densities (10,000 nematodes per plant) of H. multicinctus and M. javanica and a mixture of the three species (3,000 nematodes per plant) reduced production by 26%, 30% and 65 % respectively. Production losses >70%, compared to the control (P<0.05), occurred under high inoculation densities of P. coffeae, due to a high incidence (60%) of toppling. Inoculation with 300 nematodes of a single species on individual roots gave root necrosis of 24% and 56% after 60 days, due to, H. multicinctus and P. coffeae respectively while M. javanica gave root damage of 2%. Helicotvlenchus multicinctus could co-exist with P. coffeae in the same root but M. javanica was completely displaced. Helicotylenchus multicinctus multiplied faster on root tips, while P. coffeae multiplied faster in primary roots. The nematode species first attacked feeder roots subsequently moving to the primary roots. Roots of the five most widely grown plantain cultivars were all susceptible to P. coffeae attack. The False horn cultivars (Apantu pa and Brodiewuo) were the most susceptible, while Asamienu (True horn) was the least susceptible. Root damage due to H., multicinctus was greatest on Brodiewuo and Asamienu, while damage due to M. javanica was negligible on the cultivars studied. Paring, nematicide and hot water treatment significantly reduced the initial nematode population density in suckers, although the latter two treatments were the most effective. Severe root damage in the untreated control (>50 % root necrosis in suckers of the mother plant at harvest) was attributed to the high population density of P. coffeae in roots (up to 30,000 nematodes / 100 g sucker roots). At flowering, P. coffeae population density and root damage were significantly reduced by all planting material treatments but at harvest, the percentage dead roots in the pared treatment did not differ significantly from the control. Planting material treatments led to increase in production of 50-70 % in comparison with the control. The reduction in yield associated with the untreated control was due largely to a higher toppling incidence (54 %). Hot water-treated material had the highest yield (19.2 t/ha) followed by the nematicide treatment (16.9 t/ha). The tissue culture and pared treatments both yielded 12.2 t/ha, which was not statistically different from the untreated control (5.7 %). The potential of these treatments for use in nematode 1PM is discussed.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Philosophy in Crop Protection (Nematology), 1999