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Indian Journal of Nematology
Year : 2020, Volume : 50, Issue : 1
First page : ( 7) Last page : ( 12)
Print ISSN : 0303-6960. Online ISSN : 0974-4444.

Kava root powder for the control of the economically important nematode, Meloidogyne incognita

Singh Ranjeeta D.1, Johnson Joel B.2, Mani Janice S.2, Uma Khurma R.3, Naiker Mani2,*

1Danone Nutricia, Auckland, New Zealand

2School of Health, Medical & Applied Science, CQ University Australia, Bruce Hwy, North Rock Hampton, Qld 4701, Australia

3School of Biological, Chemical and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the South Pacific, Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji

*Corresponding author; E-mail: m.naiker@cqu.edu.au

Online published on 16 August, 2021.


The root knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) infests numerous commercial crops, causing significant amounts of economic damage. Here, the anti-nematodal potential of commercial powdered root material from kava (Piper methysticum) powder was tested on this species. Pot trials using tomato seedlings were conducted with kava powder concentrations of 1, 2 and 5% w/w. The powder was allowed to degrade in the soil for a period of 0 to 6 weeks, before planting and inoculation with juvenile (J2) M. incognita inoculum. Plant health and nematode infestation levels were quantified after 52 days (7.5 weeks). After testing all the concentrations levels, kava powder was found to suppress infection by M. incognita in a dose-respondent fashion. The higher concentrations provided superior nematode control, albeit showing a concomitant reduction in plant health. Concentrations of 1 or 2% kava, combined with a degradation time of two weeks, prior to planting and inoculation, produced the best combination of nematode control, while maintaining plant health. There was a significant difference in the inhibition levels produced by Fijian and Vanuatuan kava, most likely due to the differences in their chemical composition. When used as a soil additive, kava root powder appeared to have considerable potential for controlling root knot nematodes.



Soil amendment, Nematode control, Allelopathy, Kava lactones.


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