Biological control of Rhizoctonia solani in tomatoes with Trichoderma harzianum mutants
Luz María Pérez*
Financial support: This research was funded by FONDECYT 1040531-04.
Keywords: bioantagonism, field assays, greenhouse assays, root rot, tomato.
Biocontrol of Rhizoctonia solani in tomatoes cultivated under greenhouse and field conditions was analyzed using the Trichoderma harzianum mutants Th650-NG7, Th11A80.1, Th12A40.1, Th12C40.1 and Th12A10.1 and ThF2-1, respectively. Their innocuousness on tomato cultivars 92.95 and Gondola (greenhouse assays), and on cultivar Fortaleza (field assays) was established. Alginate pellets (1.7 g pellets/L soil) containing c.a1 x 105 colony forming units (cfu)/g pellet were applied to a soil previously inoculated with R. solani at transplant (greenhouse) or to a naturally infected soil (field). Controls considered parental wild strains, a chemical fungicide and no additions. Th11A 80.1, Th12A10.1 and Th650-NG7 prevented the 100% mortality of tomato plants cv. 92.95 caused by R. solani, and the 40% mortality in tomato plants cv. Gondola (greenhouse assays). Mortality reduction was reflected in canker level lessening and in plant parameters increases (development, fresh and dry weights). A different degree of susceptibility of tomato plants was observed, being Gondola cv. more resistant than 92.95 cv. to infection in a soil previously inoculated with R. solani. Tomato plants of cv. Fortaleza did not show mortality in naturally infected soils (field assays), where the mutant ThF2-1 reduced significantly the canker level caused by R. solani.