Abstract: Nonchemical methods and strategies for nematode management including cultural methods and engineered measures have been recommended as an alternative to methyl bromide (a major soil fumigant), due to its role in the depletion of the ozone layer. Hence, an international agreement has recently been reached calling for its reduced consumption and complete phasing out. This present research evaluates the potential of Ecologic, a biological, marine shell meal chitin material, as a soil amendment management agent for root knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita, control, and its effect on the growth of Floradel tomato plant, Lycopersicon esculentum. To accomplish this goal, studies were conducted during which, experimental pots were set up in greenhouse environments using sterilized soil inoculated with 5,000 root-knot eggs per 1500 g soil. There were 4 treatments and 5 replications. Treatments were: No chitin; 50 g chitin; 100 g chitin; and 200 g chitin. A two-week wait period following Ecologic amendment preceded Floradel tomato planting to allow breakdown of the chitin material into the soil. Fresh and dry weights of shoot and root materials were taken as growth end-points. A statistically significant difference (p ≤ 0.05) was obtained with regard to the growth rate of L. esculentum at 100 g chitin treatment compared to the control with no chitin. Mean fresh weights of Floradel tomato were 78.0 ± 22.3g, 81.0 ± 20.3g, 109.0 ± 25.4g and 102.0 ± 33.3g at 0, 50, 100 and 200g chitin, respectively. The analysis of root knot nematode concentrations indicated a substantial effect on reproduction rate associated with chitin amendment. Study results showed a significant decrease in both root knot nematode eggs and juveniles (J2) at 100g and 200g Ecologic chitin levels, however, an increase in nematode concentrations was recorded at the 50g Ecologic chitin level (p ≤ 0.05). The mean amounts of J2 population, as expressed per 1500cm3 soil, were 49,933 ± 38,819, 86,050 ± 25248, 103 ± 133 and 103 ± 133 for 0, 50, 100 and 200g chitin, respectively. Similarly, the mean numbers of root knot nematode eggs (per 1500cm3 of soil) were 40,759 ± 36,712, 66,048 ± 39,730, 9,904 ± 16,591 and 9,257 ± 17,204. Root gall rating was also significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05) at the 100g and 200g chitin levels compared to the control. Percent gall ratings were 3.3 ± 1.0%, 3.2 ± 1.0%, 1.0 ± 0.5%, and 1.0% ± 0.6% for amendment levels of 0, 50, 100, and 200g chitin, respectively.
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Ladner, D.C.; Tchounwou, P.B.; Lawrence, G.W. Evaluation of the Effect of Ecologic on Root Knot Nematode, Meloidogyne incognita, and Tomato Plant, Lycopersicon esculenum. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2008, 5, 104-110.
Ladner DC, Tchounwou PB, Lawrence GW. Evaluation of the Effect of Ecologic on Root Knot Nematode, Meloidogyne incognita, and Tomato Plant, Lycopersicon esculenum. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2008; 5(2):104-110.
Ladner, Debora C.; Tchounwou, Paul B.; Lawrence, Gary W. 2008. "Evaluation of the Effect of Ecologic on Root Knot Nematode, Meloidogyne incognita, and Tomato Plant, Lycopersicon esculenum." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 5, no. 2: 104-110.