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Surveillance and morpho-molecular characterization of Sclerotium rolfsii causing root rot of bell pepper in Pothohar Plateau, Pakistan

Research Paper | February 1, 2020

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Aliya Tariq, Farah Naz, Chaudhary Abdul Rauf, Muhammad Azam Khan

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Int. J. Biosci.16( 2), 45-52, February 2020

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ijb/16.2.45-52


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Sclerotium rolfsii is widely distributed and economically important soil-borne pathogen causing root rot and southern blight in bell pepper. During 2015-16 and 2016-17 cropping season, farmer’s fields/greenhouses/low plastic tunnels of bell pepper were surveyed to assess the percent disease incidence in Pothohar Plateau (Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Jhelum, Attock and Islamabad territory) Punjab, Pakistan. The mean disease incidence at seeding stage in greenhouses varied from 0% to 8% with the average 4.1%. In low plastic tunnels at seeding stage the mean incidence was 0% to 15.5% with the average 7.4%. At maturity stage in greenhouses, the mean incidence varied from 0% to 12% with the average 4.5%. However, the mean incidence at maturity stage in open fields varied from 7% to 26.9% with the average 14.4%.Morphological characterization of 50 recovered isolates of Sclerotium rolfsiis howed silky-white or white to light cream colonies with submerged, thin flat, medium fluffy and fluffy texture. The sclerotia were round, shiny, cream to brown or dark brown and developed at aerial hyphae or surface. The formation of sclerotia was scattered throughout the plate or formed at peripheral ring of Petri dish. The hyphae were hyaline, thin walled and have infrequent cross walls with clamp connections. Mycelial branching was at right angle and developed hyphae were slightly constricted at the branch origin. The DNA of 5 highly virulent isolates were extracted and amplified using Large Subunit gene (LSU). The sequences share 99-100% similarity with S. rolfsii reference isolates and submitted to GenBank (accession numbers MG195620 to MG195624 respectively). S. rolfsiiwas ascertained as the causal agent, based on morphological & molecular evidence, which suggests further investigation for the management of this potential threat to bell pepper production in Pakistan.


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Surveillance and morpho-molecular characterization of Sclerotium rolfsii causing root rot of bell pepper in Pothohar Plateau, Pakistan

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