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Roxana Myers, Andrea Kawabata, Alyssa Cho, and Stuart T. Nakamoto

Kona coffee root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne konaensis) cause severe declines in ‘Kona Typica’ arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) trees in Hawaii. Defoliation and destruction of the root system result in significant yield losses and can kill the host. Grafting with other coffee (Coffea) species that exhibit tolerance to kona coffee root-knot nematodes is a viable solution for mitigating damage in the field. An infested field was established in 2006 with ‘Kona Typica’ scions grafted on seven accessions of promising rootstock and nongrafted ‘Kona Typica’ as the control. Four grafted trees of each accession were planted per plot with four repetitions. Yield data were assessed for the 2016–17, 2017–18, and 2018–19 seasons. Three liberica coffee (Coffea liberica) accessions [‘Arnoldiana’ (‘Arnoldiana’ 1 and ‘Arnoldiana’ 2), ‘Dewevrei’, and ‘Fukunaga’ 1], demonstrated higher yields of coffee cherry compared with nongrafted ‘Kona Typica’ in the 2016–17 season. In the 2017–18 and 2018–19 seasons, five accessions of liberica and ‘Nemaya’ robusta coffee (Coffea canephora) exhibited higher cherry yields than ‘Kona Typica’. Plant vigor was greater in trees grafted on ‘Arnoldiana’ and ‘Fukunaga’ compared with other accessions and nongrafted ‘Kona Typica’, with taller trees, higher vertical branches, thicker trunk circumferences, and overall better health. After 13 years in the field, nongrafted ‘Kona Typica’ showed the highest mortality, with 81% of trees lost. Liberica rootstocks performed consistently well in the presence of kona coffee root-knot nematodes, with the healthiest trees, highest yields, and least mortality of the coffee species evaluated.