The use of entomopathogenic fungi is a common practice for integrated pest management. It has recently been observed that they also play a role as growth promoters and plant disease antagonism. In this study, the effect of inoculation with two strains of Beauveria bassiana [(Bals.-Criv.) Vuill. 1912] (strains BB42 and BB09) and two strains of Metarhizium anisopliae [(Metschn.) Sorokīn 1883] (strains MA25 and MA28) on the percentage of seed germination and development of chilli seedling (Capsicum annuum L.) was evaluated. In the in vitro test, we did not find significant differences between percentages of germination, but in the in vivo test, differences were significant, where sMA28 and BB09 strains obtained the highest germination percentage (85%). It was also found that seedlings inoculated with entomopathogenic fungi generate longer roots and produced more biomass in both tests, as well as lower percentages of contaminated seeds in in vitro and in vivo tests. All strains evaluated had inhibitory effects against two seed borne fungi isolated from contaminated seed, belong to genus Alternaria sp.
Key words: Germination, antagonims, entomopathogenic fungi.
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