First Report of Fruit Rot of Capsicum chinense Caused by Two Colletotrichum Species. R. J. McGovern, University of Florida-IFAS, Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Immokalee 33934. J. E. Polston, University of Florida-IFAS, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton 34203. Plant Dis. 79:212. Accepted for publication 16 January 1995. Copyright 1995 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-79-0212D.
Severe rot in the mature fruit of Capsicum chinense Jacq. (Jamaican Scotch bonnet pepper), which varied in incidence from 25 to 50%, was observed during June through September 1994 in an experimental planting in west central Florida. Fruit rot began as small, round (1-2 mm diameter), brown, and slightly depressed lesions that became surrounded by water-soaked areas. Individual lesions enlarged concentrically to about 3 cm in diameter and became wrinkled and covered with black acervuli. Total fruit rot often occurred due to the coalescence of multiple lesions. Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (Penz.) Penz. & Sacc, in Penz, (colonies on potato-dextrose agar [PDA] grayish white, conidia [12.2 x3.7 ?m] cylindrical with obtuse ends) and C. coccodes (Wallr.) S. J. Hughes (colonies on PDA gray with sparse whitish aerial mycelium and abundant sclerotia, conidia [17.0 x .2 μm] cylindrical with obtuse ends and consistent median constrictions) were consistently isolated from lesion margins on acidified PDA following surface disinfestation of fruit. Conidia from 2-wk-old cultures of C. gloeosporioides and C. coccodes were diluted separately in, sterile, deionized water (1.0 ? 104 conidia per milliliter), and atomized onto four mature fruit of C. chinense, which were enclosed in moist chambers. Inoculated fruit and an equal number of noninoculated controls were incubated at a constant temperature of 27 C. Fruit rot appeared in all inoculated fruit but not in noninoculated controls 10-14 days following inoculation, and C. gloeosporioides or C. coccodes were reisolated from symptomatic tissue. This is the first report of fruit rot of C. chinense caused by C. gloeosporioides and C. coccodes.