Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Krishnaswamy Jayachandran

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Diego Salazar-Amoretti

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Amir Khoddamzadeh

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


agriculture, secondary metabolites, vermicompost, tomatoes

Date of Defense



Fresh Market Tomatoes provide a high revenue stream for Florida’s agricultural sector. To attain profitable yields, farmers introduce high inputs of pesticides to suppress pest invasion/damage. Heavy usage of pesticides has adverse effects on human and environmental health. A possible solution might be the incorporation of vermicompost in pest management. Typically used as a fertilizer, vermicompost has pest suppressant properties. Mechanisms influencing enhanced pest resistance are unknown. To identify such mechanisms, a study was conducted to evaluate physical and chemical changes of the BHN589 tomato plant following the addition of varying vermicompost tea treatments (T5%, T10%, and T20%) . Results indicated that vermicompost tea positively affected various physical parameters such as biomass, chlorophyll content, yield, and soil pH. Moreover, the addition of vermicompost tea also influenced secondary metabolite production. Changes were mainly concentrated in compounds emerging from the mevalonic acid pathway, which regulates terpenoid production. Other metabolite groups were also affected.






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