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Resistance genes in response to root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne javanica) infection suppress one or more of several critical steps in nematode parasitism and their reproduction rate. The reaction of seven commercial tomato genotypes to M. javanica infection was investigated under greenhouse conditions. Current results classified these genotypes as: three resistant (Jampakt, Malika and Nema Guard), one moderately resistant (Fayrouz), and three susceptible (Castle Rock, Super Marmande and Super Strain B). Except Nema Guard, nematode infection significantly reduced plant height, fresh and dry weights of shoots of the other tomato genotypes. Leaf area was significantly reduced for all examined tomato genotypes except Malika and Nema Guard. Total chlorophyll was reduced in all tested tomato genotypes except Jampakt. Infection parameters of M. javanica and their population were significantly reduced on all nematode-resistant tomato genotypes compared to the susceptible genotypes. Also, the maturation rate of M. javanica was suppressed in the resistant genotypes compared to the susceptible genotypes. These results were confirmed by histological study that illustrated a delay in nematode development and their maturation. Total phenolic content significantly increased in nematode infected roots of both resistant and susceptible genotypes except Malika. Among non-infected roots, Malika showed the highest level of total phenols while after M. javanica infection, Nema Guard revealed the highest level of total phenols. Among infected roots, the highest level of total phenols was recorded in Castle Rock. These results suggested that using nematode-resistant tomato genotypes could provide an efficient and nonpolluting method to control root-knot nematodes.
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