PhD research: Characterisation of plant-parasitic nematodes and fungal root endophytes of Banana in East Africa and the nematode and fungi biocontrol potential of endophytes

October 2018 to September 2023
plant-parasitic nematodes
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (Nigeria)
Research fields
Agriculture and Food Sciences
Biology and Life Sciences

Banana including plantain (Musa spp.) is among the world's most important cash crops and one of the most important food crops in the world. Banana is a staple food in Africa providing a valuable source of carbohydrates and income, feeding over 100 million Africans. Global production as of 2017 estimated a combined annual production of about 150 million tonnes for bananas alone. However, Banana is seriously constrained by a range of biotic and abiotic factors, the damaging pests include banana weevil and plant-parasitic nematodes and diseases include Black Sigatoka, Fusarium wilt, Banana streak virus, banana bunchy top virus, and Banana bacterial wilt. Plant-parasitic nematodes globally affect banana causing significant crop losses yearly to both small and large-scale banana growers. The use of resistant cultivars is generally the easiest and the most convenient choice for farmers in managing these pests and diseases. In this project, we are (1) Investigating the diversity of plant-parasitic nematodes in major banana growing regions in Nigeria, (2) Screening banana germplasm for resistance to plant-parasitic nematodes (3) Developing an efficient rapid screening protocol to screen newly released banana and plantain varieties for resistance to plant-parasitic nematodes.