We investigated the potentials of a non-traditional legume crop, Mucuna pruriensand fallow treatments in managing plant parasitic nematodes population and improving the yield of pineapple in 2008 to 2009 at Asamankese in the Eastern region of Ghana. Nematode population density/200 cm3 soil at 6 months of application of treatments and at harvest, population/g-1 of pineapple root and yield of pineapple were analysed. M. pruriens reduced nematodes population and improved the yield of pineapple considerably. At harvest, rhizosphere soil from pineapple cultivated on bush fallow treated plots recorded significantly P = 0.05) higher populations: 76, 211, 100 and 68 for Helicotylenchus multicintus, Meloidogyne (juveniles) spp., Pratylenchus brachyurus and Rotylenchulus reniformis, respectively while soil from pineapple on weed free-M. pruriens treated plots recorded lower populations: 39, 50, 64 and 31 representing population reduction of 95, 322, 56 and 119%, respectively. Three nematode species:Meloidogyne spp., P. brachyurus and H. multicintus were recovered from pineapple roots at harvest in which the nematicidal potential of M. pruriens was further demonstrated. While significantly (P < 0.01) higher populations (165, 89 and 61) of Meloidogyne spp., P. brachyurus and H. multicintus were recovered from the bush fallow treated pineapple roots, lower populations (39, 35 and 24) of the pests were recovered from weed free-M. pruriens treated pineapple roots, respectively. Thus, M. pruriens reduced populations by 323, 154 and 154%, respectively. The yield improvement potential of M. pruriens was manifested when the main pineapple crop from weed free-Mucuna plots recorded 51 t/ha, whilst a bush fallow treatment recorded 34 t/ha out-yielding the bush fallow treatment by 50%. The use of higher plants in managing nematodes and improving yield of crops is environmentally acceptable and sustainable.
Key words: Ananas comosus, horticultural crop, plant parasitic nematodes, sustainable agriculture.
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