DISTRIBUTION OF RADOPHOLUS SIMILIS IN INDIA, ITS SPREAD IN NEW REGIONS AND AN ANALYSIS OF THE NEMATOFAUNA OF BANANA CROP PATHOSYSTEM
Random surveys revealed the widespread occurrence of Radopholus similis in banana plantations of India, especially in the new plantations of the north eastern states viz. Assam, Bihar, Nagaland, West Bengal and eastern region of Uttar Pradesh. Frequency of occurrence was highest in Nagaland (100) followed by Uttar Pradesh (50), West Bengal (42.8), Bihar (21.7) and Assam (16.6). It was not detected in Meghalya state. Factors involved in the progressive spread of R. similis are critically examined and the role of research institutions of the country and progressive farmers in introduction of banana cultivars to new agro ecological zones and the escape channel of the nematode alongwith the cultivars are discussed. Analysis of nematode community also reveals the variable degree of occurrence of so inhabiting nematode fauna viz. Pratylenchus coffeae, Helicotylenchus multicinctus and many other nematodes viz. Meloidogyne sp., Hoplolaimus sp. etc. A range of banana nematode i.e. 1-640 and 2-110 specimens per 10 g root respectively.