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ALMEIDA, Alexandre Macedo; GOMES, Vicente Martins  and  SOUZA, Ricardo Moreira. Greenhouse and field assessment of rhizobacteria to control guava decline. Bragantia [online]. 2011, vol.70, n.4, pp.837-842. ISSN 0006-8705.

In an effort to devise a biological strategy to control guava decline, 120 rhizobacteria isolates were obtained from symptomless guava trees located in Meloidogyne enterolobii-infested orchards. Of those isolates, 44 were assessed for their potential to reduce nematode's reproduction: for each isolate, six guava stem cuttings were embedded for eight hours with bacterial suspension and transplanted. Upon development of the roots, the plants were inoculated with 2000 nematode eggs and allowed to grow for four months under greenhouse. Seedlings embedded with water, inoculated or not with the nematode, served as controls. All treatments were equivalent in the five variables that assessed plant development. Several rhizobacteria reduced (p<0.05) the final nematode population (Fp), Fp/gram of root and reproduction factor, although not to satisfactory levels. Subsequently, a two-year experiment was set up in a guava orchard affected by guava decline, in which three of the most effective rhizobacterial isolates were compared with the biological products Nemat® and Nemaplus® for their ability to reduce variables related to nematode parasitism and increase guava productivity. Seven bimonthly applications of these treatments under the tree canopy were unable to reduce nematode parasitism and increase productivity. The decline and death of some plants forced the experiment to be stopped after the first harvest. In conclusion, rhizobacteria applications seem unable to reduce the parasitism of M. enterolobii on guava plants, and even less to reduce the extensive root decay or alleviate the physiological stress suffered by trees affected by guava decline.

Keywords : Psidium guajava; Meloidogyne enterolobii; biological control; Fusarium solani.

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