Screening Tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum L.) Genotypes for Resistance to Root-Knot Nematodes (Meloidogyne Species)

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MARCH, 2010
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The use of root-knot nematode resistant tomato cultivars is an attractive alternative for nematode management as their use does not require major adaptations in farming practices. These experiments were conducted to determine the effect of inoculum density of Meloidogyne spp. on the severity of root-knot disease on tomato and to evaluate different tomato genotypes for resistance against root-knot nematodes. Two pot experiments were separately conducted to determine the influence of five inoculum levels (100, 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 nematode eggs/ 1.6liters soil/pot) of root knot nematodes on tomato and host evaluation for resistance to root- knot nematodes. The pot experiments were laid out in a completely randomised design with four replications. Root-knot nematode reproduction and host damage were both affected by the initial inoculum levels and the results revealed an increase in mean number of juveniles, galls and eggs/root system. Plant height, stem diameter, fresh root weight, fresh shoot weight and number of eggs, juveniles and root galling were measured. The field experiment was laid out in a randomised complete block design with three replications. Pot and field experiments revealed a considerable variation in response against Meloidogyne spp among the genotypes evaluated. Out of the 33 tomato genotypes, Tomato Mongal T-11 and Tomato Beef master were found to be highly resistant. They recorded the lowest number of eggs in both the planthouse and under field conditions. They also scored the least number of galls. Burpee Roma was found to be moderately resistant and Tomato F1 2026 was the most susceptible genotype to attack by root-knot nematodes.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Award of Master of Science (Plant Breeding).