Plant Nutrient Partitioning in Coffee Infected with Meloidogyne konaensis


  • Denise Hurchanik
  • D. P. Schmitt
  • N. V. Hue
  • B. S. Sipes


aluminum, boron, calcium, coffea arabica, coffee, copper, kona coffee root-knot nematode, macronutrient, magnesium, manganese, meloidogyne konaensis, micronutrient, nematode, phosphorus, plant nutrition, potassium, zinc


Two experiments were conducted to assess nutrient partitioning in coffee (Coffea arabica cv. Typica land race Guatemala) infected with Meloidogyne konaensis. Nutrient levels were quantified from soil, roots, and leaves. In the first experiment, 500-cm3 aliquants of a Kealakekua Andisol were infested with four initial population densities of M. konaensis ranging from 0 to 1,500 freshly hatched second-stage juveniles. Coffee plants (˜3 months old) were transplanted into the soil and grown for 25 weeks. Plants responded to nematode infection with decreases (P 0.05) in concentrations of Ca, Mg, P, and B and increases (P 0.05) in concentrations of Mn, Cu, Zn, and Ca/B in the roots. Mn and Cu uptake by roots was decreased (P 0.05) by nematode infection even though concentrations of Mn and Cu increased (P 0.05) in the roots. Concentrations of Ca and Mg also decreased (P 0.05) in the leaves, whereas the concentration of Zn increased (P 0.05). In the second experiment, the soil was amended with Zn at 0 or 5 mg/kg soil and infested with M. konaensis at 0, 100, 1,000 or 10,000 eggs/1,200 cm³ soil. Three-month-old coffee seedlings of similar height were weighed and transplanted into pots and then placed in a greenhouse and grown under 50% shade for 23 weeks. Concentrations of P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, B, and Zn increased in roots of nematode-free plants growing in Zn-amended soil. The beneficial effects due to the Zn amendment were not apparent in nematode-infected plants. Mn, B, and Zn uptake by coffee roots and P and B concentrations in coffee leaves responded similarly. Management of M. konaensis is necessary to achieve optimal nutrient management in coffee.