Distribution and Prevalence of Parasitic Nematodes of Cowpea (<I>Vigna unguiculata</I> ) in Burkina Faso
AbstractA comprehensive survey of the plant parasitic nematodes associated with cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) production fields was carried out in the three primary agro-climatic zones of Burkina Faso in West Africa. Across the three zones, a total of 109 samples were collected from the farms of 32 villages to provide a representative coverage of the cowpea production areas. Samples of rhizosphere soil and samples of roots from actively growing cowpea plants were collected during mid- to late-season. Twelve plant-parasitic nematode genera were identified, of which six appeared to have significant parasitic potential on cowpea based on their frequency and abundance. These included Helicotylenchus, Meloidogyne, Pratylenchus, Scutellonema, Telotylenchus, and Tylenchorhynchus. Criconemella and Rotylenchulus also had significant levels of abundance and frequency, respectively. Of the primary genera, Meloidogyne, Pratylenchus, and Scutellonema contained species which are known or suspected to cause losses of cowpea yield in other parts of the world. According to the prevalence and distribution of these genera in Burkina Faso, their potential for damage to cowpea increased from the dry Sahelian semi-desert zone in the north (annual rainfall < 600 mm/year), through the north-central Soudanian zone (annual rainfall of 600-800 mm/year), to the wet Soudanian zone (annual rainfall $ 1000 mm) in the more humid south-western region of the country. This distribution trend was particularly apparent for the endoparasitic nematode Meloidogyne and the migratory endoparasite Pratylenchus.
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