Pg. 24-32 Fungal postharvest pathogens of litchi fruit in South Africa

Filamentous fungi associated with postharvest decay of litchi fruit were investigated in South frica. Filamentous fungi were identified and quantified with specific reference to geographical region and cultivar. The variability between cultivars was more prominent for individual fungal populations, than for the total fungal community. Highly variable fungal diversities were reported on fruit sourced from different geographical regions. A total of 25 different
filamentous fungal genera (48 species) were isolated from perishing fruit. The predominant filamentous fungal genus isolated at all times was Phomopsis sp., accounting for 21.3% of all isolates. The pathogenicity of 12 fungal genera was confirmed on cv. Madrass litchi fruit. This study demonstrated that the most prevalent postharvest pathogens of litchi fruit in South Africa are Phomopsis sp., Pestalotiopsis guipinii, Trichoderma harzianum, Alternaria alternataLasiodiplodia theobromae and Dothiorella sp. Less prevalent pathogens are Fusarium oxysporum, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Rhizopus stolonifer, Penicillium expansumPhoma spp. and Aspergillus niger. Non-pathogenic fungi found to readily colonise decaying litchi fruit included Cladosporium spp., Nigrospora spp., Gliocladium roseum, Periconia cookei,
Acremonium sp. and Penicillium species.

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