Bio-control of Root-knot Nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) infecting tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) using Trichoderma harzianum
Field experiment was conducted at the Teaching and Research farm, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria, to investigate the effectiveness of a biocontrol agent, Trichoderma harzianum in the management of plant parasitic nematodes infecting two varieties of tomato (UC8LB and ROMA-VF). The experimental plot was divided into treated and untreated (control) plots and each plot was further sub-divided into two sub-plots. Thus the experiment was a 2x2 factorial fitted into a Randomised Complete Block Design. Three weeks old seedlings were transplanted and the T. harzianum treatment was applied. The experimental field was inoculated with pure culture of Meloidogyne incognita obtained from root knot heavily infested Celosia argentea at 2 weeks after transplanting. Data were collected plant height, number of leaves, number of branches, number of flowers, fruit weight and initial and final soil nematode population. All data were subjected to analysis of variance and significantly different means were separated using the Least signifcant difference at 5% level of probability. Though there was no significant difference in plant height and number of leaves, the main effects of Trichoderma harzianum treatment on number of flowers and yield of tomato were significantly higher in treated plants than in control. There was no varietal difference. Equally soil nematode populations were also significantly reduced in the treated soil compared with the control. This study has elucidated the efficacy of T. harzianum in the management of root-knot nematode infecting two tomato varieties, UC8LB and ROMA-VF.