Comprehensive report on the prevalence of root-knot nematodes in the Poonch division of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan
The present study documents the root-knot nematodes (RKN) fauna of the Poonch division in Azad Jammu and Kashmir infecting vegetables. An overall prevalence of 40% of RKN was recorded. Of the four districts investigated, maximum prevalence was recorded in district Poonch with 59%, followed by Sudhnuti with 58%. The lowest prevalence of RKN was found in districts Bagh (29%) and Haveli (33%). Out of 15 vegetables investigated, RKN was found on five crops. The highest prevalence of 37.8% was recorded on okra, followed by 31.3% on cucumber and 17.5% on tomato. RKN was less prevalent on eggplant (8.3%) and beans (7.7%). Three RKN species, that is Meloidogyne incognita, Meloidogyne javanica and Meloidogyne arenaria, were found infecting the hosts. M. javanica was found to be the most prevalent followed by M. incognita and M. arenaria. This trend was found in all the districts. Overall prevalence of M. javanica as sole population was 9% and that of M. incognita was 2%. Meloidogyne arenaria was not found in any of the fields as sole population. The prevalence of M. incognita with M. javanica or M. arenaria as mixed populations was 8% and 5%, respectively, and that of M. javanica with M. arenaria was 4%. Similarly, all the three species prevailed as mixed populations in 12% of the fields in the division. The severity of RKN infections, measured as galling index, was found to be variable within each infected field (GI 2–9). Identification of RKN species was based on the morphology of perineal patterns and confirmed by molecular SCAR and CO1 makers based identification. In conclusion, RKN were distributed in the Poonch division and M. javanica was predominant. Cucumber, okra, tomato and eggplant were severely attacked by these nematodes warranting the adoption of stringent control strategies for their management.
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