Potentiality in controlling nematode infection on tomato roots by indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
HORTICULTURE | Mondino, E. A.; Thougnon Islas, A. J.; Covacevich, F.
Our objective was to evaluate the suppression of root infection by the nematode Meloidogyne incognita in tomato roots previously colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (HMA) native of Buenos Aires Province. Tomato plants were inoculated at sowing with a consortiumcontaining HMA= HMA0, HMA50 and HMA100 corresponding to 0, 50% and 100% of substrate with HMA (8 replications). At 40 days, inoculated plants showed HMA colonization higher than 60%. Plants were transplanted and each treatment was inoculated or not with M. incognita (4 replications of each nematode inoculation treatment). At harvest (115 days of growth) plants inoculated with HMA without nematodes showed mycorrhizal colonization higher than 90%. Although plants inoculated with nematodes showed decreases of mycorrhizal colonization, the obtained levels were higher than colonization prior to transplant. Inoculation with HMA decreased both soil abundance of nematode larvae (j2) and number of root galls. Although aerial growth of tomato was not affected by inoculation (HMA or nematodes), HMA0 plants (independently of nematode inoculation) showed higher root growth, that can be considered a strategy of the plant in order to compensate the lower volume of root exploration in the absence of HMA hyphae. Our results showed reduction of nematode density (j2, galls and egg masses) after inoculation of tomato with HMA. It may be concluded that the adequate establishment of mycorrhizal colonization prior to infection with nematodes exerts an apparent control of the infection of the M. incognita nematode in tomato roots. It could be a strategic tool for the biological control of pathogens of horticultural crops.