Strategic eco-friendly management of post-harvest fruit rot in papaya caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides
Papaya (Carica papaya L.) is one of the important fruits cultivated in the tropical and subtropical regions are widely prone to the post-harvest anthracnose disease. A sum of ten isolates of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides were collected and identified through morphological and molecular method. Morphological characterization of the isolates revealed a wide variation among the isolates with respect to colony colour, topography, margin, pigmentation and zonation. The ITS gene region and the specific primer, MKCgF coupled with ITS-4, which generated amplicons of size 560 bp and 380 bp respectively for C. gloeosporioides. The amplicon (560 bp) of virulent strain Cg1 was partially sequenced [MF062699]. In order to formulate eco-friendly management practices, the in vitro screening of different biocontrol agents viz., Bacillus spp., Pseudomonas spp., plant extracts and essential oils were tested against the C. gloeosporioides. Based on the in vitro efficacy, Bacillus sp. (BSP1) and cinnamon oil were selected and further tested under field conditions as pre harvest spray and after harvest as fruit dipping. The experimental results revealed that pre-harvest spray with Bacillus sp. (BSP1) (5%) + post-harvest dipping with cinnamon oil (0.1%) recorded the lowest PDI of 3.25 when compared to control (70.36) and also increased the shelf life of papaya fruits up to 14 days. Our results show that this novel methodology of use a combination of biocontrol agent as pre-harvest spray and essential oils as post-harvest fruit dipping will protect against post-harvest anthracnose of papaya and use of chemical fungicides can be avoided.
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