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Damping off and fruit rot caused by Colletotrichum capsici are the major constraints in production and marketability of chilli. Systemic fungicides are commonly used to control this disease. However, continuous use of chemical fungicides leads to negative impact on environment, soil and human health. Therefore, present studies (blotter and pot experiment) were conducted to explore the bio-fungicides (as an alternative to chemical fungicide) in comparison with carbendazim using chilli seeds infected with Colletotrichum capsici.
Experiments were conducted at the CCSHAU, Hisar, India during 2016 in completely randomized design with nine treatments replicated three times. Six months old seeds having germination above the Indian Minimum Seed Certification Standard, were infected with Colletotrichum capsici and such infected seeds were treated with Trichoderma asperellum, Trichoderma viridae, Pseudomonas fluorescens individually and their combinations to control the disease incidence. The infected, un-infected and seed treatment with carbendazim served as controls. Results revealed that the seed germination was significantly higher (94.7%) with Trichoderma viride treatment compared to all other treatments including controls in blotter method. However, the seedling emergence in pot culture was significantly superior with Carbendazim treatment, the seed treatment with Pseudomonas fluorescens and Trichoderma viridae was on par to that of Carbendazim treatment. The seedling length was significantly superior with Trichoderma viride compared to the carbendazim and other controls both in blotter and pot culture. The seedling dry weight and seedling vigour were significantly higher with carbendazim as compared to the Trichoderma viride treatment or other treatments in both blotter and pot culture. However, the overall seedling vigour obtained with Trichoderma viride was similar to that of carbendazim treatment. The disease incidence was significantly lower with Pseudomonas fluorescens as compared to the Trichoderma viride and carbendazim in blotter method and; T. viride + P. fluorescens treatment was on par to that of carbendazim treatment in pot culture. Therefore, use of Trichoderma viride and Pseudomonas fluorescens individually or in combination are suggested as an alternative to carbendazim to control the Colletotrichum capsici.
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