Field crops research vol:90 issue:2-3 pages:177-187
Damage caused by plant-parasitic nematodes on East Africa Highland banana cultivar Mbwazirume was evaluated at Sendusu, Central Uganda. Banana plots were either nematode-infested or non-infested and received either continuous heavy mulch or were finger millet (Eleusine coracana) inter-cropped. An infestation with banana weevil, Cosmopolites sordidus, occurred naturally. Suckers detached from third crop cycle harvested plants were indexed for root and corm damage. Nematodes were extracted from the indexed roots. Banana weevil damage was observed in a cross-section through the corm of the harvested plant. Relationships between root damage, corm damage and nematode population densities were examined using correlation analyses. Path analysis was used to establish their relative effects on bunch weight. Independent of the type of crop management, percentage root necrosis, percentage dead roots, Radopholus similis and Helicotylenchus multicinctus population densities were each negatively correlated with bunch weight. Banana weevil damage and Pratylenchus goodeyi population densities were not correlated with bunch weight (P less than or equal to 0.05). Path analysis revealed that root necrosis under heavy mulching and dead roots under finger millet inter-crop were the major factors associated with reduced bunch weight. Independent of the type of crop management, path analysis demonstrated that R. similis and then H. multicinctus contributed most, and to a lesser extent P. goodeyi, to root necrosis and dead roots. C. sordidus damage to the inner or outer corm appeared not to affect bunch weight. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.