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Isolation and ITS-rDNA based molecular characterization of plant pathogenic fungal species in postharvest citrus fruits

Iram Zaheer, Shazia Iftikhar, Tahir Khurshid, Khuram Shahzad Ahmad & Mahwash Mahar Gul

Sydowia 71: 267-281

Published online on January 13th, 2020

The quality and quantity of citrus fruit is depreciated due to various fungal diseases encumbering the copacetic standards, thus rendering economic losses. The current study is based on the morphological, pathological and molecular identification of the fungi associated with the citrus fruit diseases. The isolated pathogens from infected fruit samples, cultured on potato dextrose agar followed by morphological characterization, belonged to Lasiodiplodia sp., Penicillium sp., Fusarium sp. and Aspergillus sp. The imperative species identification was conducted by molecular sequencing. Pathogenicity assays on three different citrus varieties were performed to detect the most viable variety to postharvest fungal diseases. All isolates displayed significant results in cv. Kinnow with the exception of Fusarium sp., which displayed high lesion area on cv. Malta and cv. Musambi. Genetic identification exhibited 95–100 % similarity with Lasiodiplodia theobromae, Aspergillus fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, Penicillium digitatum, Fusarium solani and Fusarium oxysporum. Results could be beneficial for developing the management policies to reduce the diseases in citrus-orchards.

Keywords: fungal pathogen, fruit diseases, Aspergillus, Citrus limetta, Citrus sinensis, Citrus nobilis × Citrus deliciosa.

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