Abundance and Distribution of Plant Parasitic Nematodes Associated With Sugarcane in Western Kenya

Chirchir AK, Olubayo FM, Mutua GK. "Abundance and Distribution of Plant Parasitic Nematodes Associated With Sugarcane in Western Kenya.". 2008.


A study was conducted to determine the factors influencing plant-parasitic nematode occurrence, abundance and distribution in the sugarcane fields. Four sugarcane growing zones; Nzoia, Mumias, West Kenya and Busia of Kenya were selected from which 81 fields randomly selected and sampled. Soil samples were taken from sugarcane rhizospheres and nematodes extracted from 200 cm3 soil using the modified Baermann funnel technique. Nematodes were then fixed and mounted on slides and identified to genera level using identification keys. Nematodes of the genera Pratylenchus, Scutellonema and Meloidogyne were predominant in the sugarcane belt of western Kenya with mean densities of 61, 54 and 39, respectively. Nzoia, which falls in a marginal sugarcane zone harboured the highest proportion of these plant parasitic nematodes (55%), while West Kenya zone had the least proportion (4%). Soil texture influenced nematodes with more than 50% occurring in sandy soils compared to other soil types. Build-up of plant parasitic nematodes occurred with subsequent ratoon crops up to the second ratoon before declining in the third ratoon. Anthropogenic effects were significant with 70% higher numbers of plant parasitic nematodes in the out-grower farms compared to the factory-managed farms. This study has revealed the influence of soil texture, crop cycle and anthropogenic factors on abundance and distribution of plant parasitic nematodes in western Kenya sugarcane zones. It has also set the justification of further work to determine the economic importance of the nematodes


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