Black Sigatoka is the most costly to control disease of bananas and plantains in the world. Currently, a worldwide search is underway either to find or to produce cultivars that are disease-resistant or-tolerant. Phytotoxins isolated from the pathogen might facilitate the discovery of such cultivars. Several aromatic compounds from liquid cultures of Mycosphaerella fijiensis, the causal agent of Black Sigatoka disease of bananas and plantains, have been isolated. The most abundant and phytotoxic of these compounds is 2,4,8-trihydroxytetralone, which induces necrotic lesions at 5 μg/5 μl in less than 12 h on sensitive cultivars of bananas. This compound exhibits host-selectivity that mimics that of the pathogen. Other phytotoxins isolated from this fungus, in lesser amounts, were juglone, the novel compound 2-carboxy-3-hydroxycinnamic acid, isoochracinic acid and 4-hydroxyscytalone. Some of the phytotoxins isolated are melanin shunt pathway metabolites, which makes this fungus unique among plant pathogens.
- melanin shunt pathway
- plant pathogen