Vermicompost as a Biocontrol Agent in Suppression of Two Soil-borne Plant Pathogens in the Field

Shobha Ananda Reddy,  Davis Joseph Bagyaraj, Radha Dinakar Kale | 2012


Two serious soil-borne plant pathogens Fusarium oxysporum and Ralstonia solanacearum are causing considerable damage to vegetable crops in India. These pathogens are difficult to manage by chemical methods. Current interest is to promote their biological management. The present study was carried out to evaluate the effect of seed treatment with 10% aqueous extracts of vermicompost prepared from different organic substrates (agricultural waste, leaves of Azadiracta indica (neem), Parthenium hysterophorous (Parthenium), Lantana camara (Lantana) and application of vermicompost neem to soil. The test crop was tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) for F. oxysporum and eggplant (Solanum melongena) for R. solanacearum. The results showed that the best treatment for suppression of fusarial wilt in tomato and bacterial wilt in eggplant was seed treatment (1 hour) with 10% aqueous extract of vermicompost neem coupled with the application of vermicompost neem to the soil both during sowing as well as on transplantation. This treatment reduced the incidence of both fusarial and bacterial wilt by 100%. The application of vermicompost alone was not enough to protect the plants against the disease but coupling it with aqueous seed treatment is important to achieve complete disease suppression and increase the yields.