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In August 2016, tomato plants grown during a hot, wet summer with heavy soil flooding, displaying symptoms of wilting, dead plant, root rot with crown and stem rot, at Beni Suef and Fayoum governorates were examined. A number of 16 fungal isolates were isolated from tomato plants displaying the above symptoms. These isolates were classified as belonging to six species, namely: Alternaria solani, Chaetomium globosum, Fusarium solani, Fusarium oxysporum, Pythium spp. and Rhizoctonia solani. Isolates of Pythium spp. were prevalent and were found to be more pathogenic than the other fungal isolates. This species causes damping-off, root rot, sudden death, stem rot and fruit rot. The pathogen was identified as Pythium aphanidermatum based on morphological, cultural, and molecular characteristics. Biogenic silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were produced using the F. oxysporum strain and characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The size of these spherical particles ranged from 10 to 30 nm. In vitro, biogenic AgNPs showed antifungal activity against P. aphanidermatum. In greenhouse and field experiments, AgNPs treatment significantly reduced the incidence of dead tomato plants due to root rot caused by P. aphanidermatum compared to the control. All of the investigated treatments were effective and the treatment of root dipping plus soil drenching was the most effective. To the best of our knowledge, this study describes P. aphanidermatum on tomato in Egypt for the first time. Also, biogenic AgNPs could be used for controlling root rot disease caused by this pathogen.
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