The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology
Vol. 69 No: 6
Ipact of Mononychellus Progresivus and Oligonychus Gossypii (Acari: Tetranychidae) on Cassava Growth and Yield in Central Africa
O. BONATO, J. BAUMGÄRTNER and J. GUTIERREZ
Growth of cassava was investigated in Central Africa (Congo) on crops attacked by two phytophagous mites: Mononychellus progresivus and Oligonychus gossypii. Change and distribution of dry matter in leaves, stems and roots were monitored for the 24 month crop cycle on infested and mite-free plants. Leaf dry matter increased during the rainy season and decreased during the dry season. Stems contain the reserves used for initiating plant growth after the dry season. Dry matter increased in the roots which form true storage organs. At the start of the second year of cultivation, one third of the root biomass was used to support the recovery of plant growth and development. Mite densities fewer than 50 mobile forms per leaf (maximum number of mites) were not sufficient to cause significant loss of leaf, stem and root dry matter. Nevertheless the mites diverted part of the biomass allocated to the roots thereby reducing the efficiency of storage root production in the infested plot.
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