The effect of endophyte- infected plant residues on the population of tomato leaf miner, Tuta absoluta.
In this study, the effect of soil incorporated with endophyte-infected plant residues (Lolium perenne infected with Epichloe festucae) in tomato pot media was investigated on the tomato leaf miner, Tuta absoluta, population. Treatments were tomato plants planted in pod media containing 1.5% or 3.5% endophyte-infected and endophyte-free plant residues and control (without residues). Based on the results, population reared on plants which treated by 3.5% endophyte infected residue showed the highest larval mortality (14.28%) and doubling time of population (8.67±0.05 days) and lowest intrinsic rate of increase (0.08±0.01 day-1), gross reproductive rate (15.86±3.45 offspring), finite rate of increase (1.08±0.01 day-1), net reproductive rate (11.46±2.96 offspring), mean of eggs per female (36.45±1.90) and percentage of hatched egg (33.75±0.01). According to the results, it seems that application of endophyte-infected plant residues in tomato growing media, by reducing the T. absoluta fitness, can be considered as potential mean for the control of this pest, especially in greenhouse cultures.