Identification of common fungal pathogens of dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) in Sarangani Province, Philippines
Keywords:Cactaceae, dragon fruit, fungal diseases, Hylocerus undatus
Fungal disease is one of the major challenges that affects yield quality and profit in dragon fruit production today, as it causes a considerable amount of production loss. In this study, fungal pathogens of dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) plants in Southern Philippines were identified. Sample collection was conducted in selected farms in Saranggani Province, Philippines. Diseased parts of the dragon fruit plants were collected and brought to the laboratory to culture its associated fungi. Grown fungi were pure cultured and subjected to pathogenicity testing using the detached stem method. A total of eight distinct fungal colonies were isolated from the collected dragon fruit samples. The pathogenicity test revealed that three of the isolates caused lesions in a healthy dragon fruit plant tissue, which turned yellow soft and watery as the infection progressed. The three pathogenic isolates were molecularly identified as Fusarium oxysporum (FRI3), Aspergillus minisclerotigenes (FRI2), and Fusarium incarnatum (FLI3). Interestingly, F. incarnatum and A. minisclerotigenes were new recorded pathogens of dragon fruit. Identification of fungal pathogens on economically important crops is an essential step in the development of strategies to address problems related to fungal diseases which, in turn, will help farmers to enhance their production.
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