Date of Award

6-2011

Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Soil Science

Department

Earth and Soil Sciences

Advisor

Dr. Lynn E. Moody

Abstract

The effectiveness of the biocontrol product Actinovate® at enhancing tomato plant growth and yield, and reducing the presence of fungal pathogens was studied in greenhouse and field conditions. In the greenhouse, no differences were found among seed germination or plant survival rates, seedling heights, dry root weights, and dry shoot weights of tomato seedlings grown from seeds drenched with Actinovate® or Rootshield®. The effects of one initial Actinovate® seed drench at sowing, repeated applications through the drip irrigation throughout the season, or repeated applications through the drip irrigation plus foliar applications throughout the season at reducing plant infection by fungal plant pathogens, and increasing yield and quality for tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum) were investigated in Los Alamos, CA, on a sandy loam soil. No significant differences in plant height were found among the four treatments. Marketable fruit weight was greater in the drip plus foliar treatment than in the Actinovate® seed drench treatment. The foliar plus drip treatment resulted in the greatest amount of powdery mildew present, although the disease pressure was low. No significant differences were found among the four treatments in the presence of Verticillium wilt or Sclerotinia.