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Colletotrichum spp. causing anthracnose of Capsicum annuum and Cap. frutescens in Peninsular Malaysia

Latiffah Zakaria: Universiti Sains Malaysia

<div><em>Colletotrichum</em> species are pathogens of chili anthracnose worldwide. Most reports on chilli anthracnose in Peninsular Malaysia were based on the work done in the 1980s and relied on morphological characteristics as well as ITS sequences for species identification. Recent studies based on molecular identification and phylogenetic analysis of ITS regions, as well as β-tubulin, actin, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase genes, identified five species - <em>C. siamense</em>, <em>C. fructicola</em>, <em>C. scovillei</em>, <em>C. fioriniae,</em> and <em>C. truncatum </em>- that were associated with anthracnose of green and red <em>Cap. annuum </em>and<em> Cap. frutescens </em>in Peninsular Malaysia. Phylogenetic analysis using combined sequences showed that the isolates of the same species were grouped with the epitype strains. Pathogenicity testing showed that the tested isolates from each species were pathogenic to green and red <em>Cap. annuum </em>and<em> Cap. frutescens</em> upon treatment of wounded fruit, using both mycelial plugs and conidial suspensions as inoculum. Only five isolates of <em>C. truncatum</em> and seven isolates of <em>C. scovillei</em> were found to be pathogenic upon treatment of non-wounded fruit. The occurrence of five <em>Colletotrichum</em> spp. associated with chili anthracnose indicates that correct species identification is important to formulate not only effective disease management, but also effective quarantine policy.</div>