ASSESSMENT OF FUNGI ASSOCIATED WITH SWEET ORANGE (CITRUS SINENSIS L.) AND THEIR MANAGEMENT WITH SOME BOTANICALS IN GBOKO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF BENUE STATE, NIGERIA

Chigoziri Ekhuemelo, P A Oyifioda

Abstract


A field survey was conducted on sweet orange (Citrus sinensis (L.)  orchards in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State  for the incidence of fruit rot and soil borne fungi. The fungi present in the fruit and soil were isolated by the agar and bait methods respectively. Pathogenicity of isolated fungi was confirmed using healthy sweet orange fruits. Aqueous leaf extract of  Carica papaya and Moringa oleifera were tested at 5 %, 10 % and 15 % w/v concentration for fungicidal activities against the pathogens isolated from rotted sweet orange fruit and orchard soil from the study area. Fungi incidence varied from 20 % to 75.52 % with the highest fruit rot incidence recorded at Andoor (40.50%), Tse-Kucha 35.50 %, Agbile 28.78 % and the least incidence was recorded at Adamate (22.76 %) and Yandev (22.76 %). Aspergillus flavus, Lasiodiplodia theobromae, Macrophomina phaseolina and Penicillium digitatum were associated with fruit rot of Citrus sinensis fruit while Fusarium sp. was isolated from the orchard soil. The pathogenicity test indicated that Fusarium sp. was most virulent and incited the most rot lesion diameter of 3.92 cm, M. phaseolina incited rot lesion diameter of 2.95 cm while L. theobromae was least virulent with rot diameter of 1.87 cm. This study demonstrated the fungitoxcity of the aqueous leaf extract of M. oleifera and C. papaya at 15 % w/v which significantly (P≤ 0.05) reduced the mycelia growth of M. phseolina and A. flavus by 52 % and 16 % respectively.


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