A new anthracnose disease on chili pepper (cayenne pepper cv. Hongxiu 2003, fruiting type pepper) was found in Zhijiang County, Hunan, China in 2009. The disease was observed only on the fruits. Lesions were generally elongated, on which dark acervuli were arranged concentrically. Later, cracking of older lesions was observed. With a microscope, fungal conidia were observed to be 15.8 × 4.1 μm, fusiform or oval with one end acute, and single celled with two to seven oil globules. No setae were found on the acervuli. Eight isolates (HNZJ001–HNZJ008) showed no difference in colony feature when cultured on potato dextrose agar. All the isolates showed white growth at the early stages, but colonies turned pink when they produced powdery spores and then finally became red gray. The average colony diameter was 68.5 to 72.3 mm after 7 days with obvious gray black concentric rings because of the development of aerial and substrate mycelia. After a needle-prick inoculation with a suspension of 1 × 106 spores per ml of HNZJ001 on 30 chili pepper fruits with three repeats, the same symptoms were observed and the same fungus was recovered. In bioassays, HNZJ001 caused lesions on both mature and immature fruits, while Glomerella cingulata strain LSQ1 (GenBank Accession No. HQ607386) used as a control did not infect immature fruits. PCR amplification was carried out by utilizing universal rDNA-ITS primer pair ITS4/ITS5. Sequencing of the PCR products of HNZJ001 (GenBank Accession No. GU059863) showed 100% identity to G. acutata (GenBank Accession No. EU008863) and Colletotrichum acutatum (GenBank Accession No. AF207794) after a BLAST search. The pathogen was identified as G. acutata (asexual stage: C. acutatum) on the basis of morphological characters and rDNA-ITS sequence analysis. Worldwide, it has been reported that pepper anthracnose might be caused by up to five species of Glomerella (Colletotrichum): G. cingulata, C. coccodes, C. capsici, C. dematium, and G. acutata (2), among which only the first three were previously reported in China. In recent years, G. acutata was reported on such plants as apple (3) and strawberry (1) in China, but not on pepper. To our knowledge, this is the first report of G. acutata on chili pepper in China.
References: (1) X.-J. Ren et al. Acta Phytopathol. Sin. 38:325, 2008. (2) P. P. Than et al. Zhejiang Univ. Sci. B 9:764, 2008. (3) R. Zhang et al. Plant Dis. 92:1474, 2008.
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