Optimizing conditions for growth and sporulation of Alternaria macrospora MKP1: a biocontrol agent of parthenium weed.
During a series of surveys for natural enemies of Parthenium hysterophorus, a leaf blight pathogen was isolated from the affected parts of the parthenium following the standard isolation techniques using potato dextrose agar (PDA) media. Koch's postulates were performed and found satisfactory for the isolate and proved to be pathogenic to this weed. On the basis of cultural, morphological and molecular characteristics, the pathogen was identified as Alternaria macrospora MKP1. The growth of the fungal pathogen is known to influence by environmental factors such as temperature, relative humidity and pH. Therefore, the main objective of the study was optimization of cultural conditions for the growth and sporulation of A. macrospora MKP1. The results of the present investigation indicated that physical factors greatly affected the growth and sporulation of the pathogen.