Plant-parasitic nematodes of sugarcane have been variously reported to be associated with decline in sugarcane production. A field survey of the sugarcane plantation at Bacita, Nigeria was conducted to identify the diverse nematode species associated with the soils and roots of sugarcane and to determine their population densities on the field. Twelve species of plant-parasitic nematodes were found in association with the roots and rhizosphere of the sugarcane plants. They include: Pratylenchus zeae, Helicotylenchus dihystera, Rotylenchulus reniformis, Meloidogyne sp., Heterodera sacharri, Criconemoides limitaneum, Tylenchus sp., Tylenchorynchus annulatus, Hemicyclophora sp., Paratrichodorous sp., Trichodorous sp. and Longidorus sp. Pratylenchus zeae was the most ubiquitous, occurring at a 100% frequency rating in all the samples. Longidorous sp. was not identified from the root samples. The investigation revealed a large diversity of important parasitic nematodes on the sugarcane plantation, thus there is a need for nematode control for improved yield.
Key words: Sugarcane, nematode diversity, population density, frequency of occurrence, Bacita, Nigeria.
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