A Determination of the Efficacy of Bleach to Restrict the Growth of Colletotrichum spp. on Carica papaya

Avinash Rampersaud and Elroy Charles

📃• URC22 Abstract • 

Published: May 16, 2022Book of Abstracts (Forthcoming) of the 4th Undergraduate Research Conference. University of Guyana, Office for Undergraduate Research.

Avinash Rampersaud ✉️ Elroy Charles Department of Agriculture. Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. University of Guyana-Turkeyen Campus. Greater Georgetown, Guyana.

In Guyana, Anthracnose, a plant disease, severely affects papaya, Carica papaya, during the ripening phase and very often farmers use carbendazim, a fungicide, to control this disease after harvesting. However, the residual effects of this fungicide may have health implications to consumers. Hence, this research investigated a safe and alternative method to control anthracnose, Colletotrichum spp. on C. papaya. The research assessed four different application rates of 5.25% Sodium Hypochlorite bleach in triplicate and determined whether any of them will affect the marketable quality of papaya over a ten-day period. A laboratory trial was conducted using the four rates of bleach to water (0 ml per litre, 58.8 ml per litre, 62.5 ml per litre and 66.6 ml per litre) along with the control treatment, carbendazim (1.4 ml per litre) applied topically on 15 papayas per treatment. The results indicated that the 66.6 ml per litre was most effective in preventing the growth of the anthracnose fungus on C. papaya and also resulting in the best marketable quality. A delay in the onset of the Colletotrichum spp. offers an extended shelf life and extends the marketable quality of the fruit. Further studies should explore higher rates of bleach to control this disease and assess the impact of these on consumer preference and health.

Keywords: Anthracnose, Carbendazim, Sodium hypochlorite, Papaya

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The 4th Undergraduate Research Conference (URC22) is hosted by the University of Guyana’s Office for Undergraduate Research on May 18-20, 2022.