Biological Control of Tomato Wilt Fungi Using Leaf Extracts of Bitter Leaf (Vernonia amygdalina)
The antifungal potential of ethanolic leaf extracts of Vernonia amygdalina in the biological control of some common tomato wilt fungi was investigated. The experiment was set up in Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with eight treatments and three replicates. 5 mm diameter agar discs of 7 days old cultures of Fusarium oxysporum and Sclerotium rolfsii were obtained using a sterile 5 mm diameter cork borer and cultured on Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) inoculated with 5 ml of various concentrations of V. amygdalina ethanolic leaf extracts in petri dishes, and incubated for 10 days at 28 0C. The highest radial growth inhibitions of F. oxysporum (34.98%) and S. rolfsii (31.05%) were recorded 48 hours post-inoculation, both at 75% extract concentration. The leaf extracts of V. amygdalina used in the study exhibited significant inhibition of radial growth of the test organisms (P ≤ 0.05) and could be applied in the biological control of fungal wilt pathogens of tomato as a means of enhancing tomato yield and productivity.
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