Indexed on: 01 Jan '14Published on: 01 Jan '14Published in: Pest Management Science
Most of the approaches for biocontrol of pests and diseases have used a single biocontrol agent as antagonist to a single pest or pathogen. This accounts for the inconsistency in the performance of biocontrol agents. The development of a bioformulation possessing a mixture of bioagents could be a viable option for the management of major pests and diseases in crop plants.A bioformulation containing a mixture of Beauveria bassiana (B2) and Bacillus subtilis (EPC8) was tested against Fusarium wilt and fruit borer in tomato under glasshouse and field conditions. The bioformulation with B2 and EPC8 isolates effectively reduced the incidence of Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici) and fruit borer (Helicoverpa armigera) under glasshouse and field conditions compared with the individual application of B2 and EPC8 isolates and control treatments. In vitro studies showed a higher larval mortality of H. armigera when fed with B2 + EPC8-treated leaves. Further, plants treated with the B2 + EPC8 combination showed a greater accumulation of defence enzymes such as lipoxygenase, peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase against wilt pathogen and fruit borer pest than the other treatments. Moreover, a significant increase in growth parameters and yield was observed in tomato plants treated with B2 + EPC8 compared with the individual bioformulations and untreated control.The combined application of Beauveria and Bacillus isolates B2 and EPC8 effectively reduced wilt disease and fruit borer attack in tomato plants. Results show the possibility of synchronous management of tomato fruit borer pest and wilt disease in a sustainable manner.