Black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) known as “King of Spices” is one of the important spice crops of India. It is affected by fungi, bacteria, phytoplasma, plant parasitic nematodes and phanerogamic parasites. Among plant parasitic nematodes, root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita is one of the important limiting factors in production and productivity of black pepper in various districts of Karnataka. Further, it is involved in creating disease complexes along with fungi apart from inflicting the disease on its own. Keeping this in mind, an extensive survey in major black pepper growing districts of Karnataka namely: Shimoga, Udupi, Chickmagalur, Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Kodagu revealed the heavy incidence of root-knot nematode in all the major black pepper growing areas. The maximum mean RKI (3.52) was observed in Udupi district followed by Shimoga (3.58) and least mean RKI was observed in Kodagu district (2.73). Further in all the districts, fungal nematode associations were observed leading to slow wilt complex.
Key words: Black pepper, root knot nematode, Meloidogyne spp., Phytophthora spp., slow wilt disease.
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