Beauveria bassiana is endophytic in many plant species and has been shown to protect host plants against insect pests and plant pathogens. However, less is known about its activity against plant-parasitic nematodes. In vitro and plant assays were conducted to determine the effect of B. bassiana 11-98 (Bb) on Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode; RKN). Beauveria bassiana was confirmed as an endophyte in ‘Rutgers’ tomato and colonization patterns of Bb in ‘Rutgers’ (highly susceptible to RKN) were compared with those in ‘Mountain Spring’ (less susceptible to RKN). In greenhouse tests with ‘Rutgers’ at 30 and 60 days after treatment (DAT) with RKN and Bb, there were few differences in plant growth variables among treatments in repeated trials. However, RKN root galling and egg count/root system were enhanced in plants treated with Bb at 60 DAT. In an in vitro assay with egg masses from greenhouse tests, the percentages of hatched eggs, and mobile and immobile nematodes did not differ significantly for RKN and RKN+Bb treatments. The presence of viable Bb from roots was confirmed by collecting egg suspensions from root galls and plating them on selective medium. Colonies of Bb were verified on agar medium, but no parasitism of RKN eggs was observed. Research is needed to investigate factors responsible for increased galling by RKN in the presence of endophytic Bb in ‘Rutgers’ tomato.

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