Using two commercially available arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) products, one based on Funneliformis mosseae and the other on Glomus dussii, an experiment was conducted to assess their effect on yam growth and ability to suppress nematode damage in pots. Four yam cultivars (cvs) were used: two Dioscorea alata cvs (TDa98-01183 and TDa98-165), and two Dioscorea rotundata cvs (TDr97-00551 and TDr 745). Micropropagated yam plantlets were inoculated either with F. mosseae or with G. dussii at the stage of transplanting into 2L pots and - one month later - with 500 vermiform Scutellonema bradys. The plantlets were grown for further six months in the greenhouse at IITA-Ibadan. The results showed that the presence of AMF tended to lead to improved growth of yam, especially D. alata cvs, as compared with the non-arbuscular mycorrhizal control plants. When challenged with the yam nematode S. bradys, plantlets of the two D. alata cultivars pre-inoculated with F. mosseae and cv TDr97-00551 pre-inoculated with G. dussii yielded significantly higher tuber weights compared to non-AMF control plantlets. S. bradys densities on yam plantlets pre-inoculated with AMF were generally suppressed, although no differences were observed in visible damage scores, which remained low or absent across treatments.
Key words: Bio control, Scutellonema bradys, suppression, yam growth.