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Natural occurrence of multiple fungi in variable germplasms of red chillies from Kunri, Pakistan

By: Shaista Akhund, Abida Akram, Rahmatullah Qureshi, Farah Naz, Nafeesa Qudsia Hanif, Brian Gagosh Nayyar

Key Words: Red chilli, Kunri, Agar plate, Blotter paper, Deep freezing.

Int. J. Biosci. 9(6), 213-225, December 2016.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ijb/9.6.213-225

Abstract

Red chilli(Capsicum annuumL.) is an important crop which is grown all over the world for its variable uses in food and medicines. However, it is vulnerable for bacterial and fungal diseases due to which its production is declining with the passage of time.The present study aimsto evaluate the natural occurrence of multiple fungi in variable germplasms of red chilli.In this regard, a mycological survey was carried out in Asia’s biggest chilli production center “Kunri” Pakistan. A total of 69 samples belonging to six local cultivars namely Nagina, Maxi, Kunri, Tall Round, Tall Pointed and Drooping Type were collected and analyzed by Agar plate, Blotter paper, Deep freezing and Dilution method. All samples were positive for fungal occurrence. The most frequently isolated fungal genera were Alternaria(14 species),Aspergillus(8 species), Fusarium(6 species), Curvularia(6 species), Penicillium(4 species). However,Bipolaris, Cercospora, Cladosporium, Drechslera,Helicorhoidion, Rhizomucor, Rhizopus, Syncephalstrum andScolecobasidiumwere less frequent genera represented by single species. Overall 47 species were isolated, among them the leading contaminants were A.flavus (61.4%),F. oxysporum (44.50%), A.niger (39.19%) and Al.alternata(38.22%). The data obtained by percent frequency, incidence and contribution revealed that Nagina was highly susceptible cultivar. This is the first ever report of mycofloraisolated from six local cultivars of red chilli. These results indicate possible health hazards for human consumption of such contaminated food by mycotoxigenic fungi. Moreover, this baseline data about the prevalence of mycoflora contamination will certainly help to devise the effective strategies to tackle this significant problem.

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