Plant parasitic nematodes have been reported in tea plantations in Kenya and have been associated with loss of tea plants in some areas. Nematodes associated with tea have been found to be well distributed in Ngere catchment of Murang’a County, Kangaita catchment of Kirinyaga County and Imenti catchment of Meru County. This study was conducted to establish the effect of the root knot nematodes on the growth parameters and productivity of the common tea clones and the recently released, high yielding clones in Kenya. These clones include TRFK 31/8, TRFK 301/4, TRFK371/3, TRFK430/90, and TRFK 306/1 (purple tea). The experimental plants were reared for three years before the experiment was carried out. The experiment was set up using the randomized complete block design. Two thousand eggs of Meloidogyne spp. were used to inoculate each potted plant and one potted plant was not inoculated to act as control. Growth parameters like stem girth, length of internode and number of new leaves were recorded. Data were statistically analyzed using Genstat edition 14. The nematodes affected significantly the growth parameters and yield of the high yielding, newly released clones TRFK 301/4, TRFK371/3, TRFK 430/90 and TRFK 306/1. The tea clone TRFK 31/8 was least affected and therefore considered resistant to the nematode attack while clone TRFK 430/90 was the most affected and therefore susceptible to nematode attack. Clone TRFK 430/90 is unsuitable for cultivation in areas infested with root knot nematodes while clone TRFK 31/8 is the most suited clone to manage root knot nematodes by resistance.
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RUFORUM Working document series
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