In-vitro antagonistic potential of fungal endophytes against chilli anthracnose pathogen, Colletotrichum acutatum
Manikantha Chowdary GBS, Sutha Raja Kumar R
Chilli anthracnose is one of the destructive diseases of chilli affecting its yield and quality. There are various Colletotrichum species associated with that disease in India. A lot of chemical fungicides are being used for the management of chilli anthracnose which is drastically affecting the environment. So, there is an urgent need to augment alternate management strategies for the management of this disease. Bio-control agents plays a major role as they are cost effective and does not harm the environment. Endophytes comes into play as they not only protect the plants from invading pathogens but also activates plants defenses. A total of 122 fungal endophytic isolates were isolated from healthy chilli plants (54 from leaves, 42 from fruits and 26 from roots) and their antagonistic activity was tested against anthracnose pathogen Colletotrichum acutatum. Among all the isolates tested ENRF 7 was found to be superior in inhibiting the growth of pathogen (61.45%). Similar results were obtained by ENRF 7 while testing the effect of culture filtrate/ metabolites/ non-volatile compounds at all the concentrations i.e., 5%, 10%, and 15%. Based on the cultural, morphological and molecular characters the isolate ENRF 7 was identified as Trichoderma asperellum.