Effect of coffee silver skin and brewers’ spent grain in the control of root-knot nematodes

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Plant parasitic nematodes (PPN) are important pests of numerous agricultural crops especially vegetables, able to cause remarkable yield losses correlated to soil nematode population densities at sowing or transplant. The concern on environmental risks, stemming from the use of chemical pesticides acting as nematicides, compels to their replacement with more sustainable pest control strategies. To verify the effect of aqueous extracts of the agro-industry waste coffee silverskin (CS) and brewers’ spent grain (BSG) on the widespread root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita, and on the physiology of tomato plants, a pot experiment was carried out in a glasshouse at 25 ± 2 °C. The possible phytotoxicity of CS and BSG extracts was assessed on garden cress seeds. Tomato plants (landrace of Apulia Region) were transplanted in an artificial nematode infested soil with an initial population density of 3.17 eggs and juveniles/mL soil. CS and BSG were applied at rates of 50 and 100 % (1L/pot). Untreated and Fenamiphos EC 240 (nematicide) (0.01 μL a.i./mL soil) treated plants were used as controls. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and chlorophyll content of tomato plants were estimated during the experiment. CS extract, at both doses, significantly reduced nematode population in comparison to the untreated control, although it was less effective than Fenamiphos. BSG extract did not reduce final nematode population compared to the control. Ten days after the first treatment, CS 100 %, BSG 50 % and BSG 100% elicited the highest ROS values, which considerably affected the growth of tomato plants in comparison to the untreated plants. The control of these pests is meeting with difficulties because of the current national and international regulations in force, which are limiting the use of synthetic nematicides. Therefore, CS extracts could assume economic relevance, as alternative products to be used in sustainable strategies for nematode management.

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