Influence of NPK fertilizer on tolerance to damage by root knot nematodes on coffee

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Research Paper 01/07/2017
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Influence of NPK fertilizer on tolerance to damage by root knot nematodes on coffee

William Muiru, Maundu Jane, Kimenju John, Gichuru Elijah, Wachira Peter
Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res.11( 1), 81-89, July 2017.
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Nematodes pose a serious threat to coffee production and applications of both organic and inorganic amendments have suppressive effects on nematode populations. The study was carried out to evaluate the effect of NPK fertilizer on nematode infection on coffee seedlings. A greenhouse experiment was conducted using coffee variety SL 28 grown in sterile soil media amended with NPK (2.5g/kg). Three levels of nematode inoculum namely 1000, 2000 and 5000 eggs and juveniles per seedling were evaluated for the effect on nematode damage with and without NPK application. The experiment was terminated ninety days after inoculation and the parameters assessed were galling index, egg mass indices, fresh shoot and root weight, length of internodes and plant height. Inoculation with the higher level of inoculum resulted, to more damage by the nematode especially without NPK. Plants inoculated with higher levels of inocuum had higher and significant differences (P=0.05)  in galling indices and egg mass indices. Egg mass indices increased were significantly fewer in the roots of plants amended with NPK and the scores were 1.6, 2.7 and 4.1 compared to those of roots grown without NPK at 2.2, 3.1 and 4.6 for inoculation rates of 1000, 2000 and 5000 eggs/kg respectively. Differences in galling indices were observed among the different treatments with higher scores being registered for treatments without NPK. Proper and balanced plant nutrition is crucial for effective nematode management.  Manipulation of plant nutrient can be employed with other strategies to manage root knot nematodes in coffee.


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