In California, perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) is an introduced Brassicaceae plant that is invasive, highly competitive, and listed as a noxious weed that grows in areas such as marshes, meadows, roadsides, and irrigation ditches. From 2008 through 2010, perennial pepperweed growing near farms in Monterey and Santa Clara counties was infected with white rust. Symptoms were light green-to-chlorotic spots on adaxial leaf surfaces and corresponding white, blister-like sori growing underneath the raised leaf epidermis on the abaxial surface. Sporangia were collected from lesions and used for DNA extraction. The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was amplified with primers ITS1/ITS4 and sequenced. The sequence matched with Albugo candida by BLAST against GenBank. On the basis of morphological and molecular data, the pathogen was confirmed to be A. candida. Pathogenicity was tested by scraping sporangia from infected leaves and spraying a suspension (1 × 105 sporangia/ml) onto pepperweed seedlings grown in pots. Plants were placed in an incubator at 100% relative humidity and 12°C for 48 h to induce zoospore release. Plants were subsequently maintained in a greenhouse. After 15 to 17 days, inoculated plants developed white rust symptoms and signs. Control plants sprayed with water did not become diseased. The experiment was completed two times with the same results. To determine the race of A. candida from perennial pepperweed, 4- to 5-week-old plants and 1- to 2-week-old seedlings of differential hosts (1–4) were inoculated in a similar fashion. The differential hosts were the following: Raphanus sativus (race 1), Brassica juncea cv. Burgonde (race 2A), B. juncea cv. Cutlass (race 2V), Armoracia rusticana (race 3), Capsella bursa-pastoris (race 4), Sisymbrium officinale (race 5), Rorippa islandica (race 6), B. rapa (B. campestris) cv. Torch (race 7A), B. rapa cvs. Reward, Cutlass, and AC Parkland (race 7V), B. nigra (race 8), B. oleracea (race 9), Sinapis alba (race 10), B. carinata (race 11), and perennial pepperweed as a control. White rust developed on pepperweed 10 to 14 days later but was not found on any of the differential hosts, indicating that this pathogen is not one of the currently described 11 races. The following commercial crop species were inoculated using the same method: arugula (Eruca sativa), Japanese mustard (B. campestris subsp. nipposinica), red mustard (B. juncea subsp. rugosa), tah tsai (B. campestris subsp. narinosa), cauliflower (B. oleracea subsp. botrytis), Chinese cabbage (B. campestris subsp. pekinensis), bok choy (B. rapa Chinensis group), broccoli raab (B. rapa subsp. rapa), and perennial pepperweed as a control. Only the perennial pepperweed developed white rust. To our knowledge, this is the first characterization of A. candida infecting perennial pepperweed in California. The disease has been documented on this plant in Colorado and also in Bulgaria, Portugal, and Spain. The host range information is important to growers because it indicates that the race currently infecting perennial pepperweed will not infect commercial crucifers.
References: (1) P. A. Delwich and P. H. Williams. Cruciferae Newsl. 2:39, 1977. (2) C. B. Hill et al. Cruciferae Newsl. 13:112, 1988. (3) S. R. Rimmer et al. Can. J. Plant Pathol. 22:229, 2000. (4) P. R. Verma et al. Can. J. Bot. 53:1016, 1975.
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