Plant materials applied to the agroecological management of Meloidogyne incognita in tomato plants

ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of fresh leaves of leucaena, cassava and castor bean, applied as cover fertilizers, on the control of M. incognita in tomato plants and on the development of these plants under greenhouse conditions. The materials were applied to the soil surface at 30 days after seed germination and, after 10 days, the plant growth substrate was infested. Plants grown on non-infested soil were used to evaluate the effect of the materials on the development of tomato plants. In both tests, 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40 g fresh leaves of leucaena, cassava and castor bean were applied per kg of soil as independent treatments. The evaluation occurred at 45 days after the application of plant materials. In treatments where the soil was infested, the plant materials increased root and shoot fresh mass of the tomato plants and inhibited the reproduction of the pathogen. There was a reduction in the number of eggs, a reduction in the reproduction factor, gall index and egg mass index of M. incognita in the plants of treatments that had plant material, regardless of the used concentration. The materials increased the development of plants and this increase was more pronounced when they were cultivated in the presence of leucaena, at all concentrations of the plant material. These results indicate the potential of such plant materials on the sustainable control of root-knot nematode in tomato plants.