In order to determine the potential effects of a combined infection with Meloidogyne incognita and Fusarium oxysporum on the development and performance of a resistant and a susceptible tomato plant, a pot experiment was conducted. The nematodes were likewise obtained using the Baermann method of nematode extraction, and raw data were analyzed. Results showed that both types of treatments (single and combined) significantly reduced the various growth parameters on the sensitive tomato plant when compared to its control. There was an antagonistic relationship when both infections were inoculated simultaneously because it considerably reduced the growth parameters but did not significantly differ from either pathogen alone.There were no appreciable differences in the number of leaves between the resistant tomato plant and its control. When compared to the susceptible tomato plant, which has the greatest gall rating, the mean galls rating on the resistant tomato plant treated with nematode alone was significantly lower. However, the dominance of one pathogen over the other depended on the rime of establishment of the pathogen. Simultaneous and sequential inoculation of pathogens for both plants followed this trend of decreasing order of mean galls rating; N+f, N+F, and F+n. Due to their high nutritional content and wide range of applications, tomatoes are consumed in almost every household in Benue State and throughout Nigeria. However, the losses brought on by these diseases can be avoided by using resistant varieties


History and origin of tomato

The Spanish word tomate is where we get the term “tomato.” In 1595, it had its print debut. Tomatoes, which belong to the deadly nightshade family, were mistakenly believed to be dangerous by Europeans who were wary of its bright, glossy fruit (even if the leaves are poisonous). It is an edible, sometimes red fruit or berry that grows on the Solanum lycopersicum L. nightshade, better known as the tomato plant.

The tomato, which originated in western South America and Central America, is one of the most popular and commonly used vegetable crops worldwide (Thompson and Kelly, 1957). Following Spanish colonization of the Americas, the species, which originated in the South American Andes, and its use as food, which originated in Mexico, expanded around the world.It was first domesticated in Mexico and Chile, where the Spanish introduced it to Europe in 1531. These days, many of its numerous types are cultivated, often in greenhouses in colder locations. Tomatoes are eaten in a variety of cuisines, sauces, salads, and beverages, as well as uncooked. By definition, it is a fruit. For culinary purposes, it is regarded as a vegetable, but in home canning procedures, tomatoes are handled as a fruit because they are acidic enough to be processed in a water bath rather than a pressure cooker as vegetables must be. Legal speculating has resulted from the tomato’s disputed status as a fruit and a vegetable in the United States.The status of the tomato became a topic of legal significance in 1887 as a result of U.S. tariff rules that charged a duty on vegetables but not on fruits. In Nix v. Hedden (149 U.S. 304), the United States Supreme Court decided that the tomato is a vegetable according to the widely accepted concept that classifies vegetables by usage and that are typically given with dinner rather than dessert.

Around 161.8 million tonnes of tomatoes were produced worldwide in 2012 on 4.8 million hectares of dedicated land, with an average farm output of 33.6 tonnes per hectare (FAOSTAT 2012). China, India, and the United States were the top three tomato producers in 2012, according to FAOSTAT. The world’s top producer, China, was followed by the United States, India, and another quarter of the output. California produces 90% of the plum or processed tomatoes grown in the United States and 35% of those grown worldwide (Hartz, etal.; 2012).

According to Villareal (1978), growing one hectare of tomatoes needs around 42,000 man hours of labor, compared to 24,000 man hours for growing one hectare of rice in Nigeria. Therefore, a large-scale tomato production can hasten socio-economic change, especially in the rural economy (Nkiru Omeregie etal.; 2005). Tomato production in Benue state is restricted to the wet season, leading to a scarcity and high cost during the dry season. High daytime and nighttime temperatures, which are bad for tomato development and fruit setting and cause poor pollen generation and blossom abortion, are to blame for the low production. During the dry season, irrigation is practiced along river coasts.

Economics importance

It is impossible to overstate the economic and nutritional value of tomato fruits to Nigerians. It serves as a food supply for people and a significant source of revenue for numerous farmers who grow them for fresh produce markets (Aluko, 1989). Man consumes it in a variety of ways, including as a raw food, as an ingredient in numerous cuisines, sauces, salads, and beverages. Tomatoes aid in the growth of rural agro-industries, according to Nkiru Omeregie et al. (2005). One of the most potent natural antioxidants, lycopene, is found in tomatoes. Lycopene, found in particular in cooked tomatoes, has been reported in certain studies to help against prostate cancer, however other study disputes this finding.

According to BBC News on April 28, 2008, lycopene has also been found to enhance the skin’s capacity to fend off damaging ultraviolet rays. It has no effect on the chance of getting diabetes, but it might help those who already have the disease reduce oxidative stress (Valero, Vidal Burgos etal.; 2011). According to a study conducted by scientists at Manchester and Newcastle universities, tomatoes can prevent sunburn and keep the skin looking young (Maccrae, 2008). The poisonous alkaloid tomatine is found in trace concentrations in the tomato plant’s leaves, stem, and green, unripe fruit (Mcgee, 2009). Additionally, they contain solanine, a poisonous toxin also present in the leaves of nightshade plants like potatoes (Barceloux, 2009). Dogs may be poisoned by tomato plants if they eat large amount of fruits

Background of the study

When they infect a tomato plant alone, fungus and root-knot nematodes are known to impair growth and performance. This basically made this study on the growth and performance of susceptible and resistant tomato plants under combined infection with Fusarium oxysporum and Meloidogyne incognita necessary.

Aim of the study

The purpose of this study is to ascertain how the growth and performance of susceptible and resistant tomato plants are affected by combined infections with Fusarium oxysporum and Meloidogyne incognita.

Relevance study


In Nigeria, there are currently no mixed infection impacts of pathogens on the growth and performance of tomato plants. Probably because infection signs can occasionally be mistaken for other conditions like vitamin deficiencies or a lack of moisture, or even worse, ignored (Idowu etal., 1990; Iheukwumere etal., 2007). Iheukwumere etalstudy .’s is one of the few on the impact of combined infections (1995,1996,2005,2007,2012). However, as was already said, this study by Iheukwumere focused on other crops rather than tomatoes.This, in essence, made this experiment necessary to ascertain the combined effects of Fusarium oxysporum and Meloidogyne incognita infections on the development and productivity of susceptible and resistant tomato plants, information that will help to better understand the disease complexes affecting tomato crops in Nigeria. In addition to closing the knowledge gap on the infection complexes of crops involving a nematode and a soil fungus, specifically tomato, this will assist in developing ways to implement controls to prevent these pathogens from entering and harming our tomato crops.

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