J J Atungwu, S E Edeoghon, I S Odeyemi, I O O Aiyelaagbe


Herbivorous nematodes parasitizing crop plants live in mixed cultures in the soil with the Free-Living Nematodes (FLN). The FLNs are considered beneficial to the agro-ecosystem as they contribute to decomposition of organic materials which invariably increases soil fertility and productivity. This is in contrast to synthetic nematicides which may not only reduce populations of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes (PPN) but also the FLNs. This study hypothised the susceptibility of PPNs to Trichoderma harzianum-Based Compost (THC) application which will increase FLNs and tomato fruit yields. Two tomato varieties; Roma VF (exotic) and Beske (local) were grown in two locations treated with 1.5 t ha-1 THC laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design with four replications. Un-amended plots served as control. Results showed that eleven genera of nematodes made up of eight PPNs and three FLN were detected at both locations. The compost reduced PPN populations significantly (P≤0.05) from 78.44%, 74.26% and 66.26% to 21.56%, 25.74% and 33.74% at flowering, fruiting and harvesting stages of tomato, respectively in FUNAAB site and from 65.97%, 68.80% and 70.98% to 29.02%, 31.20% and 34.03% during the same sampling periods at Emere village. In contrast, populations of FLNs increased from 30.10%, 35.91% and 39.30% to 60.70%, 64.09% and 69.90% at FUNAAB, and 32.42%, 34.65% and 44.36% to 55.56%, 65.35% and 67.58% at Emere during the periods. Compost-amended plots gave higher (P≤0) fruit yields of Beske (1652.83 - 2100.16 Kg ha-1) and Roma VF (1509.44 Kg ha-1). Trichoderma harzianum-based compost, as an ecologically-minded nematode management strategy, increased FLNs populations which drastically subdued the PPNs and enhanced tomato yield as organic system.


Biological control, composts, fruit yield, horticulture, organic agriculture

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