Biocontrol with Trichoderma species for the management of postharvest crown rot of banana

G. Sangeetha, S. Usharani, A. Muthukumar


Lasiodiplodia theobromae and Colletotrichum musae cause the postharvest crown rot disease complex of banana. In vitro experiments evaluated the effect of twelve isolates of Trichoderma spp. from the soil of organic banana orchards (‘native isolates’) and eight isolates of Trichoderma spp. from culture collections (‘introduced isolates’) on the two pathogens. The native and introduced Trichoderma spp. had varied antagonistic effects against the two pathogens. Eight Trichoderma spp. isolates effective in the in vitro assays were evaluated singly on fruits both at room temperature and in cold storage. Single antagonists did not satisfactorily control crown rot on the fruits as compared with the fungicide carbendazim. However, two isolates of T. viride, one of T. harzianum and one of T. koningii performed well when applied singly, and these were selected for evaluation in isolate mixtures. There was very little antagonism between these isolates. Of 11 two-way, three-way and four-way mixtures of these isolates, the four-way and a three-way mixtures reduced crown rot incidence, both at room temperature and in cold storage, giving better control than carbendazim. The study identified consortia of compatible Trichoderma antagonists with superior biocontrol potential for the management of the postharvest crown rot complex of banana.

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