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Management of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici and root-knot nematode disease complex in tomato by use of antagonistic fungi, plant resistance and neem

Mwangi, M. W., Muiru, W. M., Narla, R. D., Kimenju, J. W., Kariuki, G. M.
Biocontrol science and technology 2019 v.29 no.3 pp. 229-238
Azadirachta indica, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, Fusarium wilt, Meloidogyne javanica, Purpureocillium lilacinum, Trichoderma harzianum, crop losses, crop production, cultivars, disease severity, fungal antagonists, greenhouse experimentation, greenhouses, in vitro culture, juveniles, mycelium, root-knot nematodes, roots, tomatoes
Simultaneous infestation with root-knot nematodes (RKN) and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (FOL) leads to formation of a disease complex that increases crop losses than effect of either RKN or FOL. In this study a management programme involving plant resistance, biological control agents, and neem was carried out to manage RKN and fusarium wilt disease complex. The biological control agents were Purpureocillium lilacinum (PL) and Trichoderma harzianum (TH) while the RKN was Meloidogyne javanica. In vitro dual culture plates were set up to test the interaction of biological control agents and FOL. Greenhouse experiments were conducted using two tomato cultivars Rambo F1 and Prostar F1. The treatments were; PL, TH, PL–TH, neem, PL neem, TH neem, and PL–TH neem. Each treatment was replicated four times and the treatments set up in a randomised complete block design in the greenhouse. Inhibition of FOL mycelial growth by TH and PL was 51.9%, and 44% respectively by the ninth day in vitro culture plates. In the cultivar, Prostar F1, the treatments PL–TH, PL, and TH in the presence or absence of neem had a FOL disease severity score significantly lower than the untreated control. Host resistance sufficed to prevent infection of Rambo F1 with FOL. The treatments PL–TH, PL and TH reduced FOL propagules and M. javanica juveniles in the roots and performed even better when combined with neem in both tomato cultivars. Therefore, a host that is resistant combined with biological control agents and organic amendments can be used in the management of RKN and FOL in tomato production.