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Root Rot of Bananas Caused By Radopholus Similis (Cobb) and Its Control in New South Wales

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For more content, see Nematology.

The occurrence of Radopholus similis on bananas (Musa cavendishii) in New South Wales is reported and the symptoms and economic importance of a root rot which the nematode causes are described. The histopathology of root lesions and the role of the fungi Fusarium oxysporum and Rhizoctonia solani as secondary colonists are examined. Reproduction on M. acuminata banksii and Saccharum officinarum, but not on Citrus spp. showed R. similis to be of the "banana" race. Root rot was controlled for 6 months by preplant soil fumigation with the nematicides methyl bromide, D-D, Vapam or Nemagon but re-infestation occurred after 11 months. R. similis was not found in virgin soils, but was introduced by planting infested sets. Sets less than 13 cm diameter were disinfested by immersion in water at 55° C for 20 min. without abnormal set losses. Chemical dipping of sets failed to disinfest them. A hot water bath and a method for the bulk treatment of sets are described.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Agriculture, Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia


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