Through economy of every country depends to some extent on agriculture, but the economy of agricultural producing countries depends mainly on the harvest. Agriculture joins different industries in the country and then attributes to economic stability. The agricultural sector represents a major share of the marginalized population in a country because of their demographic proximity to the agricultural land. Developing countries rely on the production of fruits and vegetables as an important commodity. The postharvest product loss poses a major economic setback to the agricultural sector. This loss can be due to the diseases affecting the product, after harvest in the storage facilities. Such diseases decrease the quality and quantity of fruits and vegetables, thus making them unsalable or reduce their value. A major postharvest pathogen is Colletotrichum a fungus. It causes anthracnose disease that diminishes the quality of fruits like avocado, mango, banana and citrus fruits, etc.
Colletotrichum is difficult to identify on its morphology, rather sophisticated analysis like molecular techniques are more reliable for its identification. If done timely, its early detection can help design better and appropriate disease management designs to mitigate post-harvest losses. In Indonesia, not many studies have been conducted on identifying the diversities of Colletotrichum species among tropical fruits, according to the molecular analysis. To replenish the molecular data regarding Colletotrichum sp. researchers at Laboratory of Plant Disease Clinic in Faculty of Agriculture, in Indonesia undertook a study. The phylogenetic relationship of Colletotrichumwith tropical fruits anthracnose and the potency of isolates were also studied.
The morphological characters studied include, colony color, texture, conidiomata, growth rate, and conidial dimension. Molecular identification was done by DNA sequence analyses of the PCR products. The results suggest that the Colletotrichum species obtained from the tropical fruits in Indonesia have shown cultural and morphological characters like size, the shape of conidia, presence of conidiomata, and growth rate of the colony. Large colony and growth rate were observed in citrus fruits. The study proved that to study to identify Colletotrichum species, molecular analysis is essential with multi-genetic analysis, as colony and conidia morphology alone cannot help distinguish between different subspecies of Colletotrichum. The results of the cross-infection test suggest that there are high chances for cross-infection among tropical fruits except for C. gloeosporioides. Another interesting finding is that the diseased lesion is caused on the wounded fruits only.
To sum up, the findings of the study demonstrated that Colletotrichum species were collected from fruits like apple, guava, banana, mango, avocado, and papaya, among with it caused pathogenicity resulting in a host-pathogen interaction of Colletotrichum.
The isolated species include C. siamense, C. asianum, C. gloeosporioides, and C. sloanei associated with tropical fruits anthracnose in Indonesia with the potency to cross infect other fruits and plants, with different degrees of pathogenicity. This study will be a big step in uncovering the critical area of species identification in Colletotrichum, putting forward the basis of a new theory on the identification of Colletotrichum species.
Colletotrichum, anthracnose, pathogenicity, tropical fruits, postharvest disease, multi-gene analysis, agriculture.