Fungi colonizing the soil and roots of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.) plants treated with biological control agents

Bożena Cwalina-Ambroziak, Maciej K. Nowak

Abstract


Tomato plants, cv. Rumba Ożarowska, grown in the greenhouse of the University of Warmia and Mazury, were protected in the form of alternate spraying (twice) and watering (twice) with 5% aqueous extracts of the following plant species: Aloe vulgaris Lam., Achillea millefolium L., Mentha piperita L., Polygonum aviculare L., Equisetum arvense L., Juglans regia L. and Urtica dioica L. Plants not treated with the extracts served as control. After fruit harvest, samples of roots and soil were collected. The roots were disinfected and next placed on PDA medium. Soil-colonizing fungi were cultured on Martin medium. Fungi were identified microscopically after incubation. Pathogenic fungal species, Colletotrichum coccodes, Fusarium equiseti, F. oxysporum and F. poae, accounted for over 60% of all isolates obtained from the roots of tomato plants. The soil fungal community was dominated by yeast-like fungi (75.4%), whereas pathogenic fungi were present in low numbers. The applied 5% aqueous plant extracts effectively reduced the abundance of fungi, including pathogenic species, colonizing tomato plants and soil. The extract from P. aviculare showed the highest efficacy, while the extract from J. regia was least effective. Fungi showing antagonistic activity against pathogens (Paecilomyces roseum and species of the genus Trichoderma) were isolated in greatest abundance from the soil and the roots of tomato plants treated with A. millefolium, M. piperita and U. dioica extracts.

Keywords


pathogenic fungi; saprotrophic fungi; roots of tomato plants; soil

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