In order to identify the effect of burrowing nematodes on the shoots (pseudostem and leaves) of banana plants and to determine whether or not shoot characteristics are associated with plant resistance to nematodes two experiments were conducted in controlled conditions within polytunnels. The banana plants were 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 total plant dry weight at the first harvest in Experiment 1 and by an average of 8.8% in Experiment 2, but did not affect leaf area in either experiment. The ratio of above-ground weight to total plant weight was reduced from 75% to 72% in nematode-infected plants compared with the control plants for all varieties tested in Experiment 1, but was only reduced in FHIA 25 and FHIA 23 in Experiment 2. Varieties differed in above-ground growth. The FHIA varieties had greater shoot weights and leaf area than YgKm5 and Williams. Overall, resistance to nematodes was associated with the partitioning of a greater proportion of biomass to the roots than to above-ground parts.
Kalorizou, H.A.; Gowen, S.R.; Wheeler, T.R. Genotypic differences in the growth of bananas (Musa spp.) infected with migratory endoparasitic nematodes. 2. Shoots. Experimental Agriculture (2007) 43 (03) 343-352. [DOI: 10.1017/S0014479707004966]