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Epidemiology and integrated control of Nacobbus aberrans on tomato in Mexico

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Population densities, population fluctuations, yield loss and disease incidence caused by Nacobbus aberrans on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) were studied, using an epidemiological approach, in a field experiment that included three different control regimes: an integrated control (IC) scheme, which included fertilisation, nematicide (ethoprop) and chicken manure; a technical control (TC) scheme, based on the best local practices of fertilisation and use of carbofuran for nematode control; and a check treatment (AC), with no application of fertilisers or nematicide. At least three generations of N. aberrans occurred through the cropping season and the numbers of galls/plant and females/g of root through the crop season were used to define the area under a disease progress curve (AUDPC). The variables b−1 (Weibull's apparent infection rate), AUDPC and Yf (final disease incidence) indicated less crop damage under the IC scheme than under the other two schemes (TC and AC). The IC scheme resulted in increased plant height (41-49%), foliage dry weight (37-53%) and stem diameter (31-41%) compared with the TC and AC schemes. Tomato yields in IC surpassed those from TC and AC by 34 and 83%, respectively, while TC exceeded AC by 73%. The yield loss attributed to N. aberrans was 12, 29 and 83% in IC, TC and AC, respectively. The IC scheme improved commercial production by 20 and 81% in comparison to the TC and AC schemes. This was largely due to effective control of the initial inoculum density, which affects the first generation of the nematode population; control of this generation is essential for avoidance of yield loss. The first generation is completed during the period 0-60 dat (days after transplanting), i.e., during the critical stages of flowering, fruit initiation and fruit set (40, 50 and 60 dat). Data on plant performance taken every 10 days were used to derive a multiple point model for calculation of production loss.

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