A study was conducted to determine the factors influencing
plant-parasitic nematode occurrence, abundance and distribution in the
sugarcane fields. Four sugarcane growing zones; Nzoia, Mumias, West Kenya
and Busia of Kenya were selected from which 81 fields randomly selected
and sampled. Soil samples were taken from sugarcane rhizospheres and nematodes
extracted from 200 cm3 soil using the modified Baermann funnel
technique. Nematodes were then fixed and mounted on slides and identified
to genera level using identification keys. Nematodes of the genera Pratylenchus,
Scutellonema and Meloidogyne were predominant in the sugarcane
belt of western Kenya with mean densities of 61, 54 and 39, respectively.
Nzoia, which falls in a marginal sugarcane zone harboured the highest
proportion of these plant parasitic nematodes (55%), while West Kenya
zone had the least proportion (4%). Soil texture influenced nematodes
with more than 50% occurring in sandy soils compared to other soil types.
Build-up of plant parasitic nematodes occurred with subsequent ratoon
crops up to the second ratoon before declining in the third ratoon. Anthropogenic
effects were significant with 70% higher numbers of plant parasitic nematodes
in the out-grower farms compared to the factory-managed farms. This study
has revealed the influence of soil texture, crop cycle and anthropogenic
factors on abundance and distribution of plant parasitic nematodes in
western Kenya sugarcane zones. It has also set the justification of further
work to determine the economic importance of the nematodes.
A.K. Chirchir, J.W. Kimenju, F.M. Olubayo and G.K. Mutua, 2008. Abundance and Distribution of Plant Parasitic Nematodes Associated With Sugarcane in Western Kenya. Asian Journal of Plant Pathology, 2: 48-53.