Najam U.S. Afshan, Ayesha Bibi, Sana Akbar, Arooma Saleem


Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is an important cash crop in Pakistan, largely cultivated for its oil. However, its production is severely affected by a soil-borne fungal pathogen, Macrophomina phaseolina causing charcoal rot. The present study investigates the effectiveness of Trichoderma species, known antagonists to soil-borne pathogens for managing charcoal rot. The research also extends to the use of biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) from Trichoderma viride for disease control. Isolates of both pathogen and antagonist from the Fungal Culture Bank of Pakistan were brought and cultured on PDA media, and their in vitro interactions with M. phaseolina were observed. Additionally, the in vivo efficacy of these species was tested on sunflower plants. Results showed that three Trichoderma spp. (T. asperellum, T. harzianum and T. viride) significantly reduced the prevalence of M. phaseolina and boosted plant growth. Moreover, AgNPs synthesized from T. viride were effective in halting the progression of charcoal rot, showing an increase in biochemical markers like Chlorophyll, Carotenoids, Phenol, and Flavonoids. This study demonstrates the potential of Trichoderma spp. and AgNPs in the sustainable management of charcoal rot in sunflower, thus contributing to improved crop yields.


Helianthus annuus L.; M. phaseolina; Trichoderma spp; Silver Nanoparticles (AgNPs) Biocontrol Agents

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