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Duraisamy Saravanakumar: University of the West Indies

<div>Bacterial wilt caused by <em>R. solanacearum</em> considered as a serious challenge in the cultivation of tomato in the Caribbean islands. The overuse of conventional fungicides has lost its efficacy against the bacterial wilt pathogen. Therefore, it is necessary to develop the control strategy for this wilt disease. In the current research, our preliminary screening and characterization of native rhizobacterial strains allowed to evaluate the <em>Bacillus subtilis</em> OG2A and <em>Bacillus amyloliquefaciens</em> CHAG1D, PRIN6, ML5 against <em>R. solanacearum</em> in tomato plants under pot culture. The <em>B. subtilis</em> OG2A and <em>B. amyloliquefaciens</em> CHAG1D, PRIN6, ML5 strains were applied as soil drenching in tomato plants, followed by challenge inoculation of <em>R. solanacearum </em>through root injury method. The disease incidence was recorded at 7 days interval after inoculation of pathogen. At 30 and 37 days after inoculation (DAI) of the pathogen, 73.33 and 100 percent wilt incidence was recorded respectively in untreated control plants. At the same time, the plants treated with <em>B. subtilis</em> OG2A (33.33%; 60.00%) and <em>B. amyloliquefaciens</em> PRIN6 (33.33%; 60.00%) recorded significantly less wilt incidence at 30 and 37 DAI compared to the untreated control. The high wilt incidence was also recorded in chemical treatment as that of untreated control. The promising control of <em>B. subtilis</em> and <em>B. amyloliquefaciens</em> against bacterial wilt in tomato has offered the potential for developing them as bioagents.</div>

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