Evaluation of screening methods for anthracnose disease in chilli



Experiments were conducted to evaluate the existing methods of screening for resistance to chilli anthracnose. In fruit puncture method, conidia of Colletotrichum capsici germinated and differentiated into appresoria on fruit surfaces in both green and ripened red fruits. However, the lesion area was more in green fruits compared to red fruits, which is not common under field conditions. Further, the green fruits which were tolerant towards anthracnose were certainly tolerant at ripened red stage, whereas if fruits were found susceptible at green stage, ripened red fruits were found to be either tolerant or susceptible. Glomeralla, which is sexual stage of Colletotrichum sp. is known to produce more appresoria on the surface of immature fruits than on fully ripened fruits. In contrast, ripened red fruits were found to be more susceptible with large lesion areas under field conditions, while green fruits were showing initial symptoms only at the colour changing stage. Moreover, the antifungal activity may become inactive after the detachment of the fruit from the live plant system. The percentage incidence of anthracnose affected fruits under field conditions employing the spray inoculation is found to be the ideal method to identify resistant hybrids. Further, while evaluating disease intensity under field conditions, it was felt necessary to note down the phenotypic characters, which perhaps correlate with the disease incidence in the field. The anthracnose susceptible chilli hybrids exhibited more fruit number, more fruit weight and less fruit thickness as compared to the tolerant hybrids. Our findings indicate some useful traits in chilli that have been linked with resistance to anthracnose and can be considered as basis for breeding resistant varieties or perhaps used as markers in Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) breeding of chilli varieties.


Chilli, anthracnose, Colletotrichum capsici, screening

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