Studies on the relationship between nematodes and sugarcane in south africa and west africa plant cane
Cadet, P.; Spaull, V.W.
Revue de Nematologie 8(2): 131-142
In West Africa the loss in yield of the sugarcane plant crop caused by nematodes is due largely to a decrease in the number of stalks while in South Africa, it is due more to a reduction in length of stalks. To explain this difference, studies were made of the growth of sugarcane and associated changes in numbers of plant-parasitic nematodes in nematicide trials in the two localities. In both trials large numbers of endoparasites invaded the sett roots during the period when tillering was suppressed in untreated plots but the rate of invasion was much greater in West Africa. In South Africa, a marked difference in length of stalks between nematicide-treated and untreated plots was associated with an increase in the population densities of Xiphinema elongatum and X. vanderlindei, the dominant ectoparasites. In West Africa however, where the cane was irrigated, there was only a small difference in length of cane between treated and untreated plots, despite the presence of large numbers of Meloidogyne and Pratylenchus in the shoot roots. Helicotylenchus dihystera was the dominant ectoparasite in West Africa. Possible reasons for the differences in the reaction of sugarcane to nematode control in South and West Africa are presented.