A Pilot Approach Investigating the Potential of Crop Rotation With Sainfoin to Reduce Meloidogyne enterolobii Infection of Maize Under Greenhouse Conditions
Root-knot nematodes (RKNs) are one of the most important plant-parasitic nematodes of cereal crops in sub-Saharan Africa. This study was designed to evaluate the rotation effects of different cultivars of sainfoin (Esparsette, Perly, Taja and Visnovsky), soybean (DM-5953-RSF) and alfalfa (BAR 7) with maize (P-2432-R), on a Meloidogyne enterolobii population, compared to monoculture maize. The results showed that sainfoin (Perly and Esparsette) and alfalfa had significantly (P ≤ 0.05) lower numbers of M. enterolobii eggs and second stage juveniles (J2) compared to the monoculture maize in the first experiment. However, in the repeat experiment all treatments had significantly (P ≤ 0.05) lower numbers of eggs and J2 compared to monoculture maize. Rotation of sainfoin Esparsette/maize resulted in the lowest numbers of eggs and J2 (91 and 202, respectively) in the first and repeat experiments. Rotation of sainfoin Esparsette/maize reduced M. enterolobii population density by 81 and 60% in the first and repeat experiments, respectively, followed by alfalfa (54 and 43%, respectively). Ultimately, substantial variation was evident in terms of the efficacy of different sainfoin cultivars with regards to their effect on nematode reduction when used in rotation with maize.