Banana plant fights off crop’s invisible nemesis: Roundworms

Banana plant fights off crop’s invisible nemesis: Roundworms

The banana variety Yangambi km5 produces toxic substances that kill the nematode Radopholus similis, a roundworm that infects the root tissue of banana plants — to the frustration of farmers worldwide. The finding bodes well for the Grande Naine, the export banana par excellence, which is very susceptible to the roundworms.

via Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily:

The banana variety Yangambi km5 produces toxic substances that kill the nematode Radopholus similis, a roundworm that infects the root tissue of banana plants — to the frustration of farmers worldwide. The finding by an international team of researchers that includes professors Rony Swennen and Dirk De Waele (Laboratory for Tropical Crop Improvement) bodes well for the Grande Naine, the export banana par excellence, which is very susceptible to the roundworms.The parasitic nematode Radopholus similis is the invisible nemesis of the banana plant, says Professor Dirk De Waele: “This roundworm infects banana crops worldwide. The nematodes are invisible to the naked eye, but they can penetrate the roots of banana plants by the thousands. Once infected, these plants absorb less water and nutrients, resulting in yield losses of up to 75 percent. Lesions in the roots also make the plant more susceptible to other diseases. Eventually, the roots begin to rot. In the final stage of the disease, the plant topples over, its fruit bunch inexorably lost.”Combating nematodes isn’t easy, adds Professor Swennen: “Synthetic pesticides are toxic and expensive. Moreover, pesticides usually do not actually kill the nematodes, they just temporarily paralyze them. Nematodes can also build up resistance to pesticides.””We have always wondered how the Yangambi km5 fights off roundworms. This study offers an answer.”While the Grande Naine is very susceptible to nematodes, other varieties are known to be resistant to them. …

For more info: Banana plant fights off crop’s invisible nemesis: Roundworms

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Banana plant fights off crop’s invisible nemesis: Roundworms

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