• T Munyasi
  • J P Gweyi-Onyango


Capsicum annum L., nitrogen, nitrification inhibitor, cations, mineral antagonism, rhizosphere pH


Sole ammonium is known to negatively affect plant growth and also reduce rhizophere pH. Interestingly low pH negatively affects nematode growth. On the other hand, nitrates enhance plant growth but increase plant exudates that attract nematodes. A greenhouse experiment was set up at Kenyatta University to evaluate the effect of nitrate (NO3--N) and ammonium (NH4+-N) concentrations with and without nitrification inhibitor applied at 50,100 and 200 parts per million (ppm) nitrogen (N) on sweet pepper (Capsicum annum L.) infected with root-knot nematode Meloidogyne spp on growth and nutrient composition. The plant height, leave area, plant weight, and the concentration of N, phosphorous (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) in the leaves were determined at 60 days after nematode inoculation. NH4+-N increased the tissue concentration of total N, P, K, and Mn. Meloidogyne spp. caused reduced dry weight of shoots and roots, with decrease in P, Mn and Fe and increase in leaf tissue Mg and Ca in highly infected plant compared to the less infected. Sweet pepper plants fertilized with lower rates of nitrogen treatments (50 ppm N and 100 ppm N) had higher Fe and Zn but with much low Mn than the treatment with more nitrogen (200 ppm N). There was high P uptake in treatments comprising of ammonium-N with the nitrification inhibitor.  Although ammonium with nitrification inhibitor (NH4+-N+NI) at 200 ppm N exhibited the lowest nematode reproduction and root galling, the same treatment also had reduced shoot growth and dry weights. NH4+-N+NI at 100 ppm N had higher tissue nutrient contents with reduced nematode population and higher total dry weight. The study therefore demonstrates that NH4+-N fertilization with an inhibitor can reduce nematode population when plants are grown in a soil infested with the root-knot nematodes. The study also demonstrated that NH4+-N+NI showed reduction of Meloidogyne spp, better nitrogen utilization with concomitant increased plant growth and plant nutrient concentration under 100 ppm N.

Author Biographies

T Munyasi

Department of Agricultural Science and Technology, Kenyatta University, P.O BOX 43844-00100 Nairobi, Kenya

J P Gweyi-Onyango

Department of Agricultural Science and Technology, Kenyatta University, P.O BOX 43844-00100 Nairobi, Kenya


Abu-Zahra T.R. (2012). Vegetative, Flowering and Yield of Sweet Pepper as Influenced by Agricultural Practices. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research 11 (9): 1220-1225
Agrios N.G. (2005). Plant Pathology, Fifth edition. Published by Dana Dreibelbis. Elsevier Academic press. U.S.A. Pg 826 – 836, 922
Amberger, A. (1989). Research on dicyandiamide as a nitrification inhibitor and future outlook. Communications in Soil Science & Plant Analysis, 20(19-20): 1933-1955.
Badra T. and Khattab M.M. (1980). The effect of nitrogen fertilizer on the growth of olive and in relation to infestations of Rotylenchulus reniformis. Nematol. Medit. 8:67-72
Bais H.P, Loyola-Vargas V.M., Flores H.E., Vivanco J.M. (2001). Root-specific metabolism: the biology and biochemistry of underground organs. In Vitro Plant. 37:730–41
Barker A. V and Pilbeam D.J (2007). Handbook of Plant Nutrition. London: Taylor & Francis Group. P. 613.
Benson, G. A. S., Obadofin A. A., and Adesina J. M. (2014). Evaluation of plant extracts for controlling insect pests of pepper (Caspicum spp.) in Nigeria humid rainforest. New York Science Journal;7(1)
Biggs, A. R. (1999). Effects of calcium salts on apple bitter rot caused by two Colletotrichum spp. Plant Disease 83, 1001 – 1005.
Blanco-Ríos, A. K.; Medina-Juarez, L.A.; González-Aguilar, G.A., Gamez-Meza, N. 2013. Antioxidant activity of the phenolic and oily fractions of different sweet bell peppers. J. Mex. Chem. Soc., and 57, 137–143.
Cakmak I and Marschner H. (1988). Enhanced superoxide radical production in roots of zinc-deficient plants. J. Exp. Bot. 39:1449-1460.
Cox, W.J. and Reisenauer, H.M. 1973. Growth and ion uptake by wheat supplied nitrogen as nitrate, or ammonium, or both. Plant Soil 38:116
Dordas Christos, (2008). Role of nutrients in controlling plant diseases in sustainable agriculture. A review Agron. Sustain. Dev. 28 33–46
Diby L.N., Hgaza V.K.1, Tié T.B., Carsky R, Girardin O.1. and Assa A. 2011. Mineral nutrients uptake and partitioning in Disocoreaalata and Dioscora rotundata. Journal of Applied Biosciences 38: 2531 – 2539.
Epstein E and Bloom A. (2004). Mineral Nutrition of Plants. Sunderland: Sinauer Associates. P. 380.
FAO, (2002). Fertilizers and their use.4th ed. International Fertilizer Industry Association. Rome, Italy. 164p.
Farahat A.A., Hendy H.H., El-Naggar H.I and El-Ghonaimy A.M. (2007). Biochemical changes in resistant and susceptible peach root-stocks after effect of the root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita. J Agric Sci, Mansoura Univ 32(5):3733-3744.
Felle, H. (1988). Cytoplasmic free calcium in Riccia fluitans and Zea mays L.: Interactions of Ca2+ and pH. Planta 176, 248 – 255.
Ferraz S, Freitas L.G, Lopes E.A, Dias-Arieira C.R. (2010). Manejo sustentável de fitonematoides. Viçosa: Editora UFV. P. 306.
Ferris H, Schneider S.M and Semenoff M.C. (1984). Distributed egg production functions for Meloidogyne arenaria in grape varieties and consideration of the mechanistic relationship between plant and parasite. Journal of Nematology 16(2): 178-183.
Fixen, P. (1983). The influence of localized nitrogen on the availability of phosphorus fertilizers. North Central Extension - Industry Soil Fertility Workshop. St. Louis, Missouri. Olson, S. Presentation for 1984 High Economic Yields Short Course, Kearney, Nebraska.
Gnanavelrajah, N. and Kumaragamage, D. 1998. Effect of Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss.) Materials on Nitrification of Applied Urea in Three Selected Soils of Sri Lanka, Tropical Agricultural Research Vol. 10 1998, 61-73.
Gweyi-Onyango J P, Neumann G and Roemheld V (2009). Effects of Different Forms of Nitrogen on Relative Growth Rate and Growth Components of Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). African Journal of Horticultural Science (2):43-55.
Hagin, J., Olsen, S.R., and Shaviv, A. (1990). Review of interaction of ammonium-nitrate and potassium nutrition of crops. J Plant Nutr. 13: 1211-1226.
Holzmueller E.J., Jose S., Jenkins M.A. (2007). Influence of calcium, potassium, and magnesium on Cornus florida L. density and resistance to dogwood anthracnose. Plant Soil.;290:189–199.
Hurchanik D., Schmitt D. P., Hue N. V., and Sipes B. S. (2004). Plant Nutrient Partitioning in Coffee Infected with Meloidogyne konaensis. Journal of Nematology 36(1):76–84
Hurchanik D, Schmitt D.P, Hue N.V, Sipes B.S. (2003). Relationship of Meloidogyne konaensis population densities to nutritional status of coffee roots and leaves. Nematropica 33:55-64.
James S. A., McDonald, T. Ericsson and M.C. Larsson. (1996). Plant nutrition, dry matter gain and partitioning at the whole-plant level Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol. 47:1245-1253
Karajeh M.R. and F.M. Al-Nasir. (2013) Ability of nitrogen containing salts to control the root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne javanica) on tomato. Hellenic Plant Protection Journal 6: 19-27,
Li Q, Jiang Y, Liang W, Lou Y and Zhang E. (2010). Long-term effect of fertility management on the soil nematode community in vegetable production under greenhouse conditions. Appl Soil Ecol 46:111–118. Journal of Nematology 36(1):85–94. 2004.
Marschner, H. (1995). Mineral nutrition of higher plants. Second Edition. Academic Press, London.
Maynard, D.N and Barker, A.V (1969). Studies on the tolerance of plants to ammonium nutrition. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 94:235-239.
Mengel K., Hütsch B., Kane Y. (2006). Nitrogen fertilizer application rates on cereal crops according to available mineral and organic soil nitrogen. European Journal of Agronomy, 24: 343–348.
Mengel K. (2001). Principles of Plant Nutrition. 5th ed. Kluwer Academic Publishers; Dordrecht, the Netherlands: pp. 481–509.
Munyasi T (2017). Effect of Inorganic Fertilizer on Root Knot Nematode Meloidogyne spp. in Greenhouse Sweet Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Production in Kenya. MSc Thesis, Kenyatta University
Olowe T.O. (2012). The effect of fertilizer (NPK) on Infestation of Meloidogyne incognita on Cowpea, Vigna Unguiculata.(L.) British Journal of Science 6 (2)
Osmond, C.B. & Laties, G.G. (1969). Compartmentation of malate in relation to ion absorption in beet. Plant Physiol. 44:7-14.
Roblin, G., Fleurat – Lessard, P. and Bonmort, J. (1989). Effects of compounds affecting calcium channels on phytochrome – and blue pigment – mediated pulvinar movements of Cassia fasciculate. Plant Physiology 90, 697 – 701.
Samarah, N., Mullen R. and Cianzio S.. (2007). Size distribution and mineral nutrients of soybeanseeds in response to drought stress. J. Plant Nutr., 27(5): 815-835.
Santana-Gomes S.M., Dias-Arieira C.R.., Roldi M.., Dadazio T.S.., Marini P.M and Oleveria Barizao D.A. (2013). Mineral nutrition in the control of nematodes. African Journal of Agricultural, Vol. 8(21), pp. 2413-2420, 6 June,
Shaviv, A. (1993). Controlled supply of fertilisers for increasing use efficiency and reducing
Pollution. In “VIII International Colloquium on “Optimization of plant nutrition”. Lisabon, September, 1992” (Fragoso et al. Eds.) p 651-656. Kluwer Academic Pubs. The Nehterlands.
Smith, G., Wiebold W., Niblack T., Scharf P. and Blevins D. (2001). Macronutrient concentrations of soybean infected with soybean cyst nematode. Plant and Soil 235:21-26.
Smith, G.S., Johnston, C.M. and Cornforth, I.S. (1983). Comparison of nutrient solutions for growth of plants in sand culture. New Phytol. 94:537-548.
Stevenson, F.J.and Cole, M. A., (1999). Cycles of Soils: Carbon, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Sulfur, Micronutrients. JohnWiley.
Streeter TC, Rengel Z, Neate SM, Graham RD (2001). Zinc fertilization increases tolerance to Rhizoctonia solani (AG 8) in Medicago truncatula. Plant Soil 228:233-242.
Tilman, D., Cassman, K. G., Matson, P. A., Naylor, R., and Polasky, R. (2002). Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices, Nature, 418, 671–677
Von Broembsen, S. L. and Deacon, J. W. (1997). Clacium interference with zoospore biology and infectivity of Phytophthora parasitica in nutrient irrigation solutions. Phytopathology 87, 522 – 528.
Wang Z. H., S. X. Li and S. Malhi, (2008). Effects of fertilization and other agronomic measures on nutritional quality of crops. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 88: 7-23.
Wilhelm, M. J., Fisher, J. M. and Graham, R. D. (1985). The effect of manganese deficiency and cereal cyst nematode infection on the growth of barley. Plant and Soil, 85:23–32.
Williamson VM and Hussey R.S. (1996). Nematode pathogenesis and resistance in plants. The Plant Cell 8: 1735-1745.
Wortmann, C. S., Bosch, C. and Mukandala, L. (1993). The banana based intercropping system in the Kagera region of Tanzania: Results of a diagnostic survey. Network on Bean Research in Africa Working Document. Occasional Publications series No. 6. 21 pp.
Zerulla, W., Barth, T., Dressel, J., Erhardt, K., Horchler von Locquenghien, K., Pasda, G., Rädle, M., and Wissemeier, A. (2001). 3,4-Dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP) - a new nitrification inhibitor for agriculture and horticulture. Biology and Fertility of Soils,34(2): 79-84




How to Cite