Plant parasitic nematodes associated with banana and plantain in Eastern and Western Democratic Republic of Congo
van Asten, P
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Plant-parasitic nematode incidence, population densities and associated damage were determined from 153 smallholder banana and plantain gardens in Bas Congo (9 – 646 meters above sea level, m.a.s.l) and South Kivu (1043 – 2005 m.a.s.l), Democratic Republic of Congo, during 2010. Based on the frequency of total nematode soil and root extraction, Helicotylenchus multicinctus (89%), Meloidogyne spp. (54%) and Radopholus similis (30%) were the most widespread, while Pratylenchus goodeyi (18%) Helicotylenchus dihystera (18%), Rotylenchulus reniformis (14%), and Pratylenchus spp. (6%) were localized in occurrence. The occurrence and abundance of the nematode species was influenced by altitude: R. similis declined at elevations above 1300 m; P. goodeyi declined at elevations below 1200 m; H. multicinctus and Meloidogyne spp. were found everywhere with higher but non-dominant densities at lower altitudes; Pratylenchus spp. was restricted to lower altitudes; while H. dihystera and R. reniformis were scattered at both low and high altitudes. Helicotylenchus multicinctus occurred in higher population densities than other nematode species, especially at the lower elevations. Damage to banana roots (percentage necrotic root tissue) was moderate to high, irrespective of altitude and banana type. To facilitate development of pragmatic plant parasitic nematode management, such baseline studies provide information upon which to enable informed and suitable strategies, such as cultivar selection and distribution.