Effect of Different Methods to Control the Parasitic Weed Phelipanche ramosa (L.- Pomel) in Tomato Crop
Phelipanche ramosa is the most damaging obligate flowering parasitic weed on wide species of cultivated plants. The semi-arid regions of the world are considered the main centers of this parasitic plant that causes heavy infestation. This is due to its production of high numbers of seeds (up to 200,000) that remain viable for extended periods (up to 20 years). In this study, 13 treatments for the control of Phelipanche were carried out, which included agronomic, chemical, and biological treatments and the use of resistant plant methods. In 2014, a trial was performed at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Foggia (southern Italy), on processing tomato (cv ‘Docet’) grown in pots filled with soil taken from a field that was heavily infested by P. ramosa). The tomato seedlings were transplanted on May 8, 2014, into a sandy-clay soil (USDA). A randomized block design with 3 replicates (pots) was adopted. During the growing cycle of the tomato, at 70, 75, 81 and 88 days after transplantation, the number of P. ramosa shoots emerged in each pot was determined. The tomato fruit were harvested on August 8, 2014, and the quantitative and qualitative parameters were determined. All of the data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using the JMP software (SAS Institute Inc. Cary, NC, USA), and for comparisons of means (Tukey's tests). The data show that each treatment studied did not provide complete control against P. ramosa. However, the virulence of the attacks was mitigated by some of the treatments tried: radicon biostimulant, compost activated with Fusarium, mineral fertilizer nitrogen, sulfur, enzone, and the resistant tomato genotype. It is assumed that these effects can be improved by combining some of these treatments with each other, especially for a gradual and continuing reduction of the “seed bank” of the parasite in the soil.
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