International Sugar Journal

Towards a molecular toolkit to assess biological health of soil* [Full subscriber]

Abstract Sugarcane farmers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of soil health.  However, there are limited tools by which the health of soils can be measured.  Nematodes are known to be an excellent indicator of soil health, but their identification and enumeration is laborious and requires the expertise of a diminishing pool of trained scientists.  Molecular methods are being used to detect specific nematode targets and estimate their numbers, but in the sugar industry this work has focused on two key pests: root-lesion nematode (Pratylenchus zeae) and root knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.).  However, such methods are not useful against…

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