The spatial location of the banana (Musa AAA) root parasitic nematodes within three root parts considering two root thickness was determined in three commercial farm management systems, which differ in weed and nematode management. Roots in each farm management system were classified in thick (>5 mm-d) and thin (1 less than or equal to 5 mm-d) roots. From each root type, the epidermis, the cortical parenchyma (CP) and the vascular cylinder (VC) were separated by fingernail, and nematodes were extracted by maceration of each root part. Independent of the farm management system, and for either root thickness, highest numbers of Radopholus similis per gram of root was found in the CP, followed by the epidermis and VC. The highest number of Helicotylencus spp., Pratylenchus spp. and the total nematode population per gram of root was found in the epidermis. Considering the number of nematodes per root part, the highest number of R. similis and total nematodes was located in the CP, while Helicotylenchus spp. and Pratylenchus spp. were concentrated in the epidermis. These patterns were approximately reproduced in the two root thickness and in the three farm management systems. This behavior suggests that injection of systemic nematicides into the plant pseudostem to replace the granular applications on surface soil might be promissory. (C) 2004 Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.