Submitted to: Nematropica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 29, 2005
Publication Date: September 1, 2005
Citation: Mani, A., Handoo, Z.A., Livingston, S. 2005. Plant-parasitic nematodes associated with date palm trees (phoenix dactylifera l.) in the sultanate of oman. Nematropica. 35(2):135-144.
Interpretive Summary: Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic worms that cause an estimated 10 billion dollars of crop losses each year in the United States. One problem with determining the extent of nematode damage to crops is that the nematodes present on specific crops are not known in many areas, such as in the case of date palm trees in the Sultanate of Oman. Therefore, scientists in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in the Sultanate of Oman conducted a survey of nematodes in date palm orchards; an ARS scientist provided assistance in identifying the species of nematodes. The survey revealed the occurrence of 27 different nematode species in a variety of economically important groups. The results are particularly significant because two of these species are reported in Oman for the first time. This research will be used by growers to develop strategies to control the damage caused by nematodes to date palm trees.
Surveys were conducted in the Batinah, Interior, Sharqia and Dhahira regions as well as in the Musandam governorate in the Sultanate of Oman for two successive cropping seasons during 1990-1997 to study the occurrence, population density, and distribution of phytoparasitic nematodes associated with date palm. The 165 soil samples from the date palm rhizosphere contained mixed populations of 27 economically important plant-parasitic nematode species belonging to 17 genera. Rotylenchulus anamictus was recorded for the first time in the Arabian peninsula. Helicotylenchus digonicus represents a new country record for the Sultanate of Oman. Helicotylenchus multicinctus, Meloidogyne javanica and Rotylenchulus anamictus were the most abundant and the most widespread nematodes found in the date palm rhizosphere. Additionally, Helicotylenchus spp., Pratylenchus spp., and Rotylenchulus sp. were often observed at high population levels. Other nematode genera identified usually occurred in low population densities. The effects of these nematodes on growth, vigor and fruit yield needs to be investigated.