Banana fruits infected with rot disease were collected from the local market of Lahore, Pakistan. The observed symptoms were dry, decayed, sunken lesions with dark grey to greenish in color, damaging quality of the fruit. Scientists at University of the Punjab (Lahore, Pakistan) have isolated the pathogen from infected tissues.
Morphological identification showed that the young fungal colony was greenish grey in color which upon maturation turned into downy dark grey to black. The conidia were single or in chains, attached with brown geniculate conidiophores distinguish by septation with dark brown scars. The mature conidia were curved at subterminal ends, dark brown to reddish brown in color with 3 oblique septa. On the basis of these morphological characters, the fungal isolate was identified as Curvularia lunata. This finding was then confirmed by both rDNA sequencing and pathogenicity test.
Major fungi associated with rot decay are Curvularia species, among which C. lunata is considered as the most virulent strain responsible for fruit rot in papaya, jujube, tomato, strawberry, pitaya, mango, date and orange on a large scale.
"To the best of our knowledge, C. lunata infecting the banana fruit has not already been reported from Pakistan. Hence, this is the first report of C. lunata responsible for post-harvest banana rot in Pakistan," the scientists say.
Source: Iqra Haider Khan and Arshad Javaid, 'First report of Curvularia lunata causing postharvest fruit rot of banana in Pakistan', 2020, International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, Vol.24, No.6, pp.1621-1624.