Effects of macro propagation and soil sterilization on the control of nematodes and performance of propagules from three plantain cultivars.

Author: 
A.A. Oso

Scarcity of planting materials for propagation of plantain has been linked to farmers’ dependence on natural regeneration of plants for the supply of planting materials. These planting materials are not often enough to meet the demands indicated for self-sufficiency in plantain production. Thus, rapid production of planting materials (macro-propagation) through the use of relatively large corm pieces is suggested to ameliorate this short supply of planting materials. This study evaluated the performance of three most common plantain propagules obtained through macro-propagation when subjected to some sanitation routines (paring and non-paring). The cultivars used include False Horn, French and True Horn plantains. Paring of the corm before planting is a cultural method within the reach of farmers which ensures that the planting of clean materials by peeling the corms to remove infested tissue. The experiment was arranged in a completely randomized design of six treatments replicated three times. plant emergence at 8th week after planting and growth parameters measured at 4 - week interval from 8 to 20 - weeks after planting revealed that performance in terms of plant height, stem girth and leaf area was best enhanced with non-pared False Horn propagules > French > True Horn cultivars. The false horn cultivar had early emergence and better growth performance probably because of its ability to tolerate poor soil. The three observed nematode species (Hoplolaimus pararobustus, Helicotylenchus multicinctus and Meloidogyne spp.) were predominantly higher in non-sterilized soil. The fact that growth parameters appear greater among non-pared propagules when compared with pared propagules might be an indication of stress as a result of wound from paring. Farmers however should not hesitate on paring because of its greater advantage of protection of planting materials against plantain pests and diseases. They are also encouraged to expose soil for multiplication of propagules to some levels of heat so as to reduce nematode population.

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