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Occurrence and distribution of root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne spp., in cowpea growing areas of Nigeria

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A survey of root knot nematodes, Meloidogyne spp., was conducted in 248 major cowpea growing areas, spread over 31 States and the Federal Capital Territory in different ecological zones in Nigeria. The survey revealed the occurrence of Meloidogyne incognita, M. javanica and M. arenaria singly or in combination in all the cowpea farms sampled. In overall distribution, M. incognita (51.8%) was the most prevalent followed by M. javanica (44.1%) and M. arenaria (4.1%). The greatest abundance of M. javanica (65.6%) was concentrated in the Sudan savannah of the Core North (north-east and north-west) and that of M. incognita (82.1%) in the humid forest of the south (south-east, south-west and south-south). However, M. javanica (51.7%) and M. incognita (44.2%) tended to be common in the Guinea savannah of the middle belt (north-central). Mixed populations of the three species (4.0%), but more commonly of M. incognita and M. javanica (37.1%), were encountered. Meloidogyne arenaria never occurred as a pure population or mixed with M. javanica solely but was found mixed either with M. incognita alone or in combination with M. javanica and M. incognita, and more often in the south. In a mixed population of M. incognita and M. javanica in the Core North, where M. javanica was prevalent, M. incognita formed about one third (34.2%) of the mixed population density, whereas in the south where M. incognita was dominant, M. javanica formed a lower proportion of about one fifth (17%) of the mixed population density. These findings provide information and guidance for planning effective management strategies.


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