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The current in-planta research work was carried out for the management of root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) in sunflower (Helianthus annuus) cv. Peshawar.93 through naturally occurring nematicides during spring, 2018. Experiment included two plant-based essential oils (neem oil and castor oil), two plant extracts (garlic and ginger), and furadon (positive check). In contrast, check (negative) received only pure distal water (H2O). Treatments were laid out in CR (completely randomized) design having five replications. We inoculated 50 Juvenile’s (J2s) and 200 eggs of the root-knot nematode to the sunflower root system. Application of plant extracts caused a significant decline in the number of galls, galling index, egg masses and J2 population on sunflower plant and promoted plant growth parameters under greenhouse conditions. Least number of egg masses (0.80) were found in plant treated with neem oil followed by furadon (0.83). Neem oil significantly reduced 1.46 J2s, followed by furadon (1.96). Plant Growth parameters such as shoot length (28.3 cm), root length (13.4 cm), root weight (3.15 gm), fresh (4.36 gm) and dry shoot weight (3.2 gm) and dry root weight (1.6 gm) were increased significantly by using neem oil. All the treatments significantly increased the plant growth parameters over check negative. The total chlorophyll content of the plants had reduced after the inoculation of the nematode as compared with the pre nematode inoculation. The present study suggests that neem oil has strong nematicidal effects and can be utilized effectively in an integrated pest management program against root-knot nematodes in sunflower.
Keywords: Botanicals; Neem oil; Root-Knot nematode; Soil amendments; Sunflower