Radopholus similis (and others nematodes) cause significant damage on banana wherever are grown worldwide. Genetic resistance to nematodes provides a more sustainable management option in resource poor farming systems. New evidence indicates that there is an effect of root growth characteristics on resistance observations. The main goal of the study was to identify root traits of banana that can be targeted in breeding for resistance to burrowing nematode, Radopholus similus. Single roots of the 51 macro-propagated genotypes were inoculated with R. similis and observed after eight weeks in a screen-house. One resistant genotype (Yangambi km-5) and one susceptible (Valery) were included as controls in this experiment. As results, significant differences (P<0.05) in final nematode population and reproduction were observed among the genotypes tested. Twenty-one (21) clones were identified as resistant, 17 susceptible and 15 partially resistant. Important root parameters were identified as root length, surface area and root volume and these were subjected to marker-trait association analyses. One hundred (100) SSR markers were analyzed for association with variables of interest using simple regression analysis. Twenty-three (23) heterozygous markers were identified in the female parent, twenty-five (25) in the male parent, while filthy-two (52) heterozygote markers appeared in both parents. Close associations were observed between marker BaPt780639 and root growth rate (R2=50.3%, P=0.0001); between root surface area and marker BaPt-784290 (R2 =40.5%, P=0.0001), and between root volume and marker BaPt-784290 (R2 =41.1%, P=0.0001). Two markers were closely linked with the final population of nematodes. However, only marker BaPt786236 showed close linkage to both root size and resistance to R.similis (R2=20.4% for length, R2=14.9% for nematodes population). This marker can, therefore, be a good candidate for selecting for root length trait and resistance to R. similis. This study identified two hybrid genotypes (25539S_26 and 25540S_149) to have important root traits that confer tolerance to R. similis and should be targeted in breeding programs.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Theses and Dissertations
Dr. Hebert L. Talwana & Dr. Jim Lorenzen