Trichoderma-mediated enhancement of nutrient uptake and reduction in incidence of Rhizoctonia solani in tomato
Trichoderma harzianum is a naturally occurring filamentous fungus which solubilizes mineral nutrients and inorganic fertilizers, increasing availability and uptake of nutrients to the plant. Rhizoctonia solani is a major problem for seedlings, causing damping-off and in mature plants causing foot and root rot in the tomato crop, reducing nutrient uptake. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of Trichoderma harzianum (BHU-51), Trichoderma harzianum (BHU-105) and their consortium Trichoderma harzianum (BHU-51+BHU-105) on management of R. solani and nutrient levels in the plants.
The application of Trichoderma as a seed treatment significantly decreased the incidence of damping-off and increased the vigour index of the plants. The maximum reduction in disease incidence was recorded for the consortium (BHU-51+BHU-105) treatments. The mineral content in treated plants was also higher than untreated pathogen-inoculated controls. Field trials also showed that the consortium produced better results in terms of shoot length, chlorophyll content and yield than the control.
The application of Trichoderma in consortium form increased mineral nutrient uptake, reduced disease incidence and obtained a greater yield with reduced chemical pesticide loads, benefitting farmers and consumers.
Keywords: Trichoderma; Rhizoctonia solani; nutrient uptake; damping-off; disease management.