Taxonomic and phylogenetic assessment of selected fungal pathogens associated with banana fruits in the local markets of northern Thailand

April 02, 2024 | European Journal of Plant Pathology |

Focused on identifying and characterizing two prevalent postharvest diseases, anthracnose and speckle, affecting bananas in three provinces of northern Thailand, a study was conducted collaboratively by Mae Fah Luang University and Chiang Mai University, Thailand and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. Symptomatic banana fruits were collected from local markets, and surface-sterilized skin segments were used to isolate the fungi on potato dextrose agar. Morphological and phylogenetic analyses of ITS, LSU, act, cmdA, tub2, chs-1, and gapdh sequences identified Colletotrichum musae and C. siamense as the causal agents of post-harvest anthracnose in Kluai Namwa and Kluai Khai bananas, respectively. Corynespora torulosa was identified as the cause of speckles in Kluai Namwa fruits.

Koch’s postulates were confirmed by inoculating fresh and unripe banana fruits with the isolated strains, re-isolating the pathogens, and verifying them with morpho-molecular data. This study marks the first confirmed occurrence of C. torulosa causing banana fruit speckles in Kluai Namwa in Thailand and documents the presence of C. siamense causing post-harvest anthracnose in Kluai Khai. The findings contribute to a better understanding of post-harvest banana diseases and address challenges in the commercial banana industry in northern Thailand.

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