India is a large producer of bananas, which are mostly grown in Tamil Nadu State for home consumption. Nematodes are the third major cause of crop loss in this area, two of the most damaging species being Radopholus similis and Pratylenchus coffeae. Breeding for nematode resistance is currently a research priority. Being within the centre of origin, India has a diverse range of cultivars. Five cultivars were screened for resistance or tolerance to these nematodes: Pisang tongat, Pisang mas, Paka, Kunnan and Pisang sipulu. The resistant and the susceptible standards, Yangambi km5 and Grande Naine respectively, were included. It was found that Yamgambi Km5, Kunnan and Paka were the most resistant cultivars to both species of nematode. The resistance's of Yangambi Km5 and Kunnan were found to be relatively the same to both species, while Paka was found to be significantly more resistant to R. similis than to P. coffeae. Nematodes decreased plant growth, R. similis being the most damaging species, although higher numbers of P. coffeae were recovered from all cultivars.
Acta Horticulturae (1998) 490:3 69-372. I International Symposium on Banana in the Subtropics