Greener Journal of Biochemisty and Biotechnology

Open Access

Enyiukwu et al

Greener Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology Vol. 1 (2), pp. 052-065, July 2014.

  2384-6321© 2013 Greener Journals

Review Paper

Manuscript Number: 070414288


Biology and Management Strategies of Cowpea Anthracnose Disease Caused by Colletrotrichum Species


 D.N. Enyiukwu*1, A.N. Awurum1, C.C. Ononuju1, J.A. Nwaneri2


1Department of Plant Health Management, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, PMB 7269 Umuahia Abia State.

2Minor Root Crop Programme, National Root Crop Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike, P.M.B 7006 Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria.


*Corresponding Author’s Email: enyidave2003 @gmail .com


Anthracnose remains an important biotic factor constraining the efficient production of cowpeas in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world especially in Nigeria. Correct and accurate identification of its causal organism is essential for tailoring appropriate control or management techniques for this impediment. So far, many Colletotrichum organisms have been reported as responsible for causing this disease in the crop. It appears that majority of these reports were predicated on morphological and colony characteristics of the pathogens from culture studies and/or in some cases, on uncritical assumption of host-specificity of the pathogens. This makes for the identity of the causal organism of anthracnose in the crop to be generally unclear, confusing and a subject of much scientific debate. In the Colletotrichum patho-system, it is known that different species could cause anthracnose of the same host. Since isolates, show overlapping ranges of morphological, colony and phenotypic characteristics, molecular diagnostic approaches such as sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region (1.8S and 5.8S; 5.8S and 28S genes) and sequence analysis of β tubulin genes which offer comparative variability for resolving phylogenetic relationships of Colletotrichum species; as well as sequence analysis of introns from two genes (glutamine synthase and glyceraldehydes-3-phosphate) and MAT1-2 mating sequences which have allowed differentiation of isolates from species complexes could play vital roles in discriminating the causal organism(s). Though cultural strategies, tolerlant and resisitant varieties against the disease and chemical interventions are used in managing the disease; resistance have been reported to be only temporary due to variability of Colletotrichum pathogens. Chemical interventions are disadvantaged in being human and eco-health disruptive; in addition to the fact that Colletotrichum spp. have shown resistance to carbendazim, thiophenate-methyl and benomyl. This review peers into the economic importance of anthracnose of cowpeas, its causal agent(s), management strategies for the disease and elaborated the response of the anthracnose organisms to phyto-chemicals from tropical plants for Integrated Disease Management (IDM) programs.

Keywords: Anthracnose, Colletotrichum spp. Cowpea, Molecular identification, Characterization, IDM.


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