Greenhouse evaluation of deficit irrigation on the growth of tomato and eggplant and their interactions with Meloidogyne javanica
Deficit irrigation is considered to be an important approach for crop cultivation in dry regions where water resources are scarce. Deficit irrigation can be used also to decrease the level of infections by some moisturedependent plant pests and diseases such as root-knot nematode disease. Therefore, deficit irrigation at levels of 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% of field capacity was evaluated on tomato and eggplant in either the presence or absence of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica under greenhouse conditions. At irrigation levels of 20%, 40% and 60%, there was a significant decrease in leaf area, leaf water potential and growth parameters of tomato and eggplant compared to 80% and 100% of field capacity. In addition, a significant reduction in root galling and final nematode population occurred with deficit irrigation levels. Therefore, deficit irrigation at 80% of field capacity can be used to enhance water use efficiency and to increase the effectiveness of the current control strategies to control M. javanica without greatly affecting the growth of tomato and eggplant. However, more studies are still needed to confirm these results under different field conditions.
Keywords: root-knot nematodes, water potential, water use efficiency