The effect of composted sawdust at different concentrations (0, 10, 20... 100% v/v in soil) on tomato plant growth and pigments were investigated with or without the presence of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica at different inoculum levels (0, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000) in clay pots (having diameter 30 cm and depth 60 cm). An increase in the composted sawdust concentration in the field soil progressively increased the availability of chlorides, sulphates, carbonates, bicarbonates, P, K, Mg, Mn, Cu, Zn and Fe. However, reverse trend was evaluated in nitrogen content of the soil with gradual increment in sawdust. Different physical properties such as porosity, pH, conductivity, water holding and cation exchange capacity also increased gradually with gradual sawdust amendment in the soil. Sawdust application enhanced the plant growth as well as leaf pigments in both nematode infected as well as non-infected tomato plants, being maximum in the soil containing 30% composted sawdust. Growth and leaf pigments also showed reductions with respect to increase in nematode inoculum density compared to nematode union-culated plants (that is, controls). However, least amount of tomato growth and leaf pigments were found at 3000 nematode inoculum level. Sawdust treatments favorably affect the root invasion by root-knot nematode juveniles (J2 and J3 + J4) and galls up to 30% but adversely affected onward treatments although, a gradual increase in sawdust concentration in the soil would correspondingly decrease the number of egg masses and eggs per egg mass (that is, fecundity) of the root-knot nematodes. All the above said nematode parameters were also improved with all considered nematode inoculum levels but 3000 was the optimum level for them. After visualizing the results, it can be suggested that 30% composted sawdust was the most economical level as it enhances the growth and pigments irrespective of the presence or absence of root-knot nematode. At the same time, it also controls the root-knot nematodes in particularly in 30% onward dust amendments.
Key words: Meloidogyne javanica, nematode,sawdust.
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