In several banana cropping systems in the tropics, productivity and plantation longevity is strongly hampered by root parasitism consisting mainly of nematodes and fungi. Controling soilborne pathogens in intensive banana cropping systems has been done so far mostly by pesticide application. In low input cropping systems (i.e. Plantain), no control is currently practiced. For several years, research has been focused on the chemical control of nematodes in intensive farming systems.
The objective of our proposal is to lay the scientific foundations for new approaches developing integrated control of soilborne pathogens for improving the sustainability of banana cropping systems. Research application will be oriented to the management of the banana rhizosphere in banana plantation.
The two most important agents pathogenic to banana root will be considered : Radopholus similis (nematode) and Cylindrocladium SPP. (fungus).In the present state of knowledge, our objectives involve research in (1) the relationship between spread of soilborne pathogens and soil properties, (2) the biology, bioecology and aggressivity of these pathogens, their mutual interactions and their interactions with non pathogenic organisms, (3) the physico-chemical ambience of the banana rhizosphere and its biocenosis, (4) the effects of vesicular Arbuscular Mycorhizae (VAM) to root efficiency.
The present proposal requires a multidisciplinary research involving soil science, soil microbiology, nematology and phytopathology.
Other important aspects of this proposal have to be mentioned : training and the possibility of a technology transfer (production of VAM inoculum for site specific VAM strains).
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts