Pathogenic fungi associated with storage rot of Colocasia esculenta and evaluation of bioformulations against the pathogen
Taro (Colocasia esculenta) is a major tropical tuber crop widely cultivated in India. Post-harvest loss of C. esculenta root and tubers had emerged as one of the major constraints in the production of taro and might have detrimental effects on food security. Our study on storage rot of C. esculenta tubers revealed that Fusarium oxysporum was mostly responsible for the post-harvest loss of the crop. Pathogenicity test confirmed its role as the causal agent of storage rot
in taro. The pathogen was further confirmed based on molecular identification by amplifying ITS region of the rDNA using ITS1 and ITS4. Based on BLST analysis it showed maximum homology (95-99%) with F. oxysporum. Efficacy of a few microbial antagonists were tested against the pathogen in vitro which revealed that the treatment with combination of Trichoderma viride + Pseudomonas fluorescens + Bacillus thuringiensis showed highest inhibition of F. oxysporum (94.05%) followed by treatment of T. viride alone (65.17%).
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