Written by Researchers; Wafaa M.A.El-Nagdi and M.M.A.Youssef

Sugar beet is considered the second source of sugar production after sugar cane and its vegetative system is used as fodder for animals. The local consumption of sugar increased every year due to the continuous increase in population. The root knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita is considered the main nematode pathogen attacking sugar beet in Egypt. This nematode causes gall formation on the roots of sugar beet influencing nutrients and water uptake from soil.


As a result, less sugar production and less weight of shoots. Management of this nematode pest by more safe material regardless chemical nematicides, which are harmful to man, animals and envirinment, is needed to reduce this nematode and subsequently to increase crop yield quality and quantity.The previous studies indicated the importance of moringa plant parts as roots, shoots and seeds in controlling plant parasitic nematodes especially root knot nematode of the genus Meloidogyne.

On this basis, seeds of sugar beet cv. Gazelle were sown under screen house conditions in 20 cm diameter clay pots. Two months later, five replicates from each treatment were inoculated with 500 newly hatched juveniles of M. incognita/pot. Equal number of pots was kept as untreated control. At the same time of inoculation, certain plant aqueous extracts were added to pots inoculated with root knot nematode. These plants were moringa as mashed dry leaves, doum palm as mashed fruit pomace, pomegranate as mashed fruit peel, and stevia as mashed dry leaves. The commercial product, micronema (antagnistic bacteria) was used at the rate of 0.5 ml/pot. The aqueous plant extracts were prepared by thoroughly mixing 10g of each plant material in 200ml distilled water.


The resultant mixture from each material was left for 72hr. at lab. and then, passed through filter paper. The obtained filtrates were used as 5% concentration at the rate of 40ml per pot and were added in each pot. After four months from inoculation time, plants were uprooted . Numbers of galls and egg masses on roots of sugar beet were counted. Eggmasses on roots were incubated in distilled water for promoting egg hatching. Juveniles in soil were extracted and counted. Plant growth criteria including lengths and fresh weights of shoots and roots were recorded. Total soluble solids percent (TSS %) was measured in fresh weight of roots.

Moringa extract caused (58.7%) reduction in the number of nematode galls formed on the roots of sugar beet and caused 54.2% reduction in the number of eggmasses formed on nematode galls. On the other hand, moringa extract recorded the highest percentage reduction(75.4%) in the number of the hatched juveniles from eggmasses compared with non- treated plants and the other material under study. Also, moringa extract reduced the number of nematode juveniles in soil by 85%.


The importance of this result due to that the reduction in hatched juveniles from eggmasses and those in soil affects their attack to the subequent crops, especially suceptible ones in crop- rotation influencing their growth and yields quality and quantity. As for plant growth, moringa extract and the other material improved plant weight and length and weight of roots(tubers) acting as a reservoir of sugars. Also, moringa extract improved the technological characteristics of tubers in the form of the percentages total soluble solids. In other words, increased plant geowth and sugar yield compared to control (non-treated) occurred.

In conclusion, The effects of moringa extract and the other tested material confirm that these extracts contain active ingredients lethal to nematodes resulting in reduction in the number of nematodes in both roots and soil. As a a result, improved plant growth and sugar yield quantity and quality occurred. The use of moringa extract may well provide one of the efficient and cheap methods of nematode control that are necessary and environmentally safe to farmers and a given quantity of plant material can be better utilized over a larger area.




About researchers 

PHD Wafaa M.A.El-Nagdi and PHD M.M.A.Youssef

Plant Pathology Department, Nematology Laboratory, National Research Centre, Dokki, Post Code 12622, Cairo, Egypt.

Published in :
Scientia Agriculturae 10 (2) : 55-58 (2015).

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