Research Papers: Reniform and Root Knot Nematodes on Passionfruit in Fiji


  • M. F. Kirby


A survey of Fiji's passionfruit crop, Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa, showed Rotylenchulus reniformis to be present in 16 of 19 sites sampled, and in numbers exceeding 36,000 per 200 cm of soil. Meloidogyne sp. was recovered from only 1 sample. Reniform nematodes reproduced on passionfruit in a glasshouse experiment, and a significant reduction in vine weights was associated with the presence of this nematode. Leaves were chlorotic, and infected roots had a uniformly darker appearance when compared with controls. No plant growth reductions were associated with M. arenaria, M. incognita, and M. javanica, inoculated separately in a controlled experiment. Root galling occurred in response to all species. However, nematodes failed to develop beyond larval stages, and no evidence of reproduction was seen. It is concluded that reniform nematodes may be involved in a serious decline disease affecting passionfruit in Fiji. Evidence indicates that passionfruit is not a suitable host for th