The effects of nematodes on root morphology and the association of root characteristics with resistance to nematodes of seven banana varieties were investigated in two experiments. Banana plants were grown in controlled conditions within polytunnels and harvested on three occasions for the measurement of root morphology and biomass. Varieties differed in their resistance to nematodes, from resistant (Yg Km5, FHIA 17, FHIA 03) and partly resistant (FHIA 01, FHIA 25) to not resistant (FHIA 23, Williams). Nematodes reduced the root dry weight of FHIA 01, FHIA 17 and FHIA 23 at some harvests. Primary root number was on average 9.5% lower in nematode-infected plants than controls, with no differences among the varieties. Thus, there was no simple association between the resistance of these varieties and their tolerance to nematodes. Varieties differed in root morphology. Root dry weight was greatest for resistant varieties Yg Km5 and FHIA 03, and least for non-resistant varieties FHIA 23 and Williams. Thus, resistance to nematodes was associated with varieties with greater root mass and more and larger primary roots.
Kalorizou, H.A.; Gowen, S.R.; Wheeler, T.R. Genotypic differences in the growth of bananas (Musa spp.) infected with migratory endoparasitic nematodes. 1. Roots. Experimental Agriculture (2007) 43 (03) 331-342. [DOI: 10.1017/S0014479707004978]