Pathogenic variability of the fungus Colletotrichum lindemuthianum on dry bean in South Africa
Dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L) anthracnose is an economically important seed-borne fungal disease caused by the fungus Colletotrichum lindemuthianum. The pathogenic variability of C. lindemuthianum was evaluated in a glasshouse study. A total of 32 isolates were collected in three provinces, namely KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and North-West. The isolates were collected from different fields of dry bean at research stations and also from small-scale farmers’ fields. Inoculum developed from the different isolates was sprayed onto 12 CIAT differential dry bean cultivars that were used to identify pathogen races. The inoculation was carried out during the trifoliate developmental stage of the dry bean seedlings raised in pots 14 days post-sowing. Using the CIAT binomial system, eight pathogenic races of C. lindemuthianum were identified, namely, 3, 6, 7, 81, 83, 89, 263 and 323 out of the 32 isolates evaluated. Only pathogenic races 7, 81, 83 and 89 were found in the more humid locations of the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Races 7, 81 and 89 are internationally recognized and show characteristics reported of races in Brazil. Race 6 was identified in Mpumalanga and North west provinces and this was important as it has been reported in other Southern African countries. The races populations were distinct between locations as they infected both the Andean and the Meso-American bean landraces. The most important dry bean landraces were AB 136, G 2333, Kaboon, TU and PI 207262 as they showed complete resistance from the isolates. The study findings suggests that these six landraces can be successfully used to improve anthracnose resistance, especially G 2333 because of its horizontal resistance that can be used to improve the current cultivars used for the control of anthracnose in South Africa. Additionally, Cornell 49242 was one of the landraces of importance, as it showed glimpses of anthracnose that faded overtime under controlled suitable environmental conditions. Use of these landraces will ensure stability in the long-term control of dry bean anthracnose since the pathogen C. lindemuthianum is highly variable and widely distributed in South Africa.
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