Anthracnose fungus, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides was isolated in culture from the diseased fruit samples of chilli (Capsicum annuum). The fungus was identified by morphological and molecular analysis. Plant root extracts of A. precatorius and R. tetraphylla and chemical fungicide, dithane-M45 were tested for their inhibitory effects on the cell wall degrading enzymes of C. gloeosporioides under in vitro condition. The activity of cell wall degrading enzymes viz. polymethyl galacturonase (PMG), pectin transeliminase (PTE) and the carboxymethyl cellulase (CMC) was assayed. Root extracts of A. precatorius was found to be more efficient in inhibiting both the pectinolytic (PMG and PTE) and cellulolytic (CMC) enzymes than dithane-M45. The inhibitory effects of enzyme might be due to the presence of fungitoxic compounds such as phenolics, proteins and flavonoids in the root extracts of A. precatorius. On the contrary, extract of R. tetraphyllawas found to induce enzyme activity.
Key words: Plant extract, botanical pesticide, pectinolytic enzyme, cellulolytic enzyme.
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