Phytophthora nicotianae Breda de Haan was isolated from turning tomato fruit (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in August 2010 from a garden in central New Mexico. Symptoms typical of buckeye rot including brown, water-soaked, necrotic lesions with concentric rings were observed on three tomato fruit. Tissue from each fruit was surface sterilized and plated onto water agar and incubated at room temperature. After 72 h, colonies of Phytophthora (identified by the presence of coenocytic hyphae and papillate sporangia) were found and subcultured by hyphal tips to V8 agar amended with ampicillin (250 mg/liter), rifampicin (10 mg/liter), and pimaricin (0.2% wt/vol). The isolates of Phytophthora were identified as P. nicotianae based on morphological characteristics and DNA analysis. Sporangia were sharply papillate, noncaducous, and ovoid to spherical. The average sporangium size was 44.5 × 35.5 μm with a length-to-width ratio of 1.26. Chlamydospores, both terminal and intercalary, were spherical to ovoid and averaged 38.9 × 37.5 μm. PCR amplification and sequence analysis on three isolates from the infected tomato tissue was performed using primers ITS4 and ITS6 that amplify the 5.8S rDNA and ITSI and ITSII internal transcribed spacers (1,2). A band of approximately 890 bp was amplified and directly sequenced (GenBank Accession No. HQ711620). A BLAST search of the NCBI total nucleotide collection revealed a 100% similarity to multiple P. nicotianae isolates previously sequenced. Pathogenicity tests with sequenced P. nicotianae isolates were performed to confirm virulence on tomato fruit. Tomatoes were surface sterilized with 95% ethanol and 0.1 ml of a P. nicotianae zoospore suspension (10,000 zoospores/ml) or sterile water was pipetted onto the surface of the tomato fruit. After 5 days in a humidity chamber, all three inoculated tomatoes had expanding water-soaked, circular lesions and the negative control showed no disease symptoms. P. nicotianae was successfully reisolated from the inoculated tomato tissue and the ITS region was sequenced to confirm its identity. Although the disease has been reported in many other states since the early 1900s, to our knowledge, this is the first report of P. nicotianae causing disease on tomato in New Mexico.
References: (1) D. E. L. Cooke and J. M. Duncan. Mycol. Res. 101:667, 1997. (2) T. J. White et al. Page 315 in: PCR Protocols: A Guide to Methods and Applications. M. A. Innis et al., eds. Academic Press, San Diego, 1990.
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