MANAGEMENT OF PRATYLENCHUS COFFEAE ON BANANA PLANTLETS BY SOLARIZATION
The objective of this work was to investigate the effects of solarization on banana rhizome seedlings infected with Pratylenchus coffeae. The experiment was performed outdoors, during the dry season, with infected rhizomes wrapped within two layers of clear plastic bags and exposed to sunlight for 0, 2, 6, and 8 h, from 8:30 to 16:30 hr. The air temperatures of the area were recorded, and the rhizome temperatures were recorded and registered automatically and continuously with a PROB-107 sensor. After exposure to sunlight, the infected rhizomes were grown in pots containing sterilized soil under greenhouse conditions for 3 months. The percentage of sucker emergence and nematode population in the root, rhizome, and soil was recorded. Solarization treatments did not affect sucker emergence. The maximum temperatures registered in the rhizomes were of 27.0, 36.9, 54.3 and 51.8ºC (corresponding to the exposure periods of 0, 2, 6, and 8 hr, respectively). The sunlight exposition treatment of infected rhizomes for 6 and 8 hr reduced the population density of P. coffeae. Solarization is a promising method to reduce plant-parasitic nematode populations in banana plantlets.