Plant-parasitic Nematode Problems in the Pacific Islands


  • John Bridge


The Pacific islands have a diverse range of food and cash crops with indigenous and introduced nematode problems. The staple food crops have serious nematode pests, such as Meloidogyne spp. on sweet potato, Hirschmanniella miticausa causing corm rot of taro, and Pratylenchus coffeae and Radopholus sp. producing tuber dry rot of yams. Bananas are infested with P. coffeae or R. similis, citrus with Tylenchulus semipenetrans, rice with Aphelenchoides besseyi, and ginger with Meloidogyne spp. and R. similis. Rotylenchulus reniformis, P. zeae, P. brachyurus, and Helicotylenchus spp. are important on all of these and other crops, such as sugarcane, passion fruit, pawpaw, and cassava. Meloidogyne spp. cause serious damage to local and introduced leaf and fruit vegetables and other crops, such as tobacco, sugarcane, pawpaw, black pepper, and pyrethrum. Many other plant-parasitic genera and species, some undescribed, occur in the Pacific, and there are many islands still to be investigated. Key words: Pacific islands, plant-parasitic nematode.