Pseudoperonospora cubensis (Berk. & M.A. Curtis) Rostovzev, the causal agent of cucurbit downy mildew, was observed for the first time on Cucurbita moschata Duchesne in the Czech Republic (CR) in August 2009 and repeatedly in September 2010. Recently, C. moschata has not been an economically important crop in the CR; however, related crops C. pepo and C. maxima have increased in importance. Infected plants with P. cubensis were found in two locations: in a hobby garden in north Moravia (Nový Jičín – Kojetín [49°33′48.088″N, 17°59′16.632″E], 2009 and 2010) and in a commercial field in central Moravia (Olomouc-Holice [49°34′31.95″N, 17°17′35.462″E], 2010). The pathogen caused small, angular, yellowish or pale green lesions on the upper leaf surfaces and produced sporangiophores and sporangia on the lower leaf surfaces. The lesions were delimited by leaf veins and later turned necrotic. Sporangiophores were hyaline, branched, and emerged in groups from stomata. Olive brown-to-dark brown sporangia were ellipsoidal to oblong. Our morphological observations confirmed that the pathogen was P. cubensis (2). No previous reports are available of P. cubensis on C. moschata in CR or anywhere in Central Europe. However, P. cubensis is common on C. moschata in some parts of Asia and the United States (1,2). P. cubensis exhibiting clear host specialization has been reported in different countries and geographic areas (2). A C. moschata isolate (PC 88/2009) originating from the naturally infected plants was inoculated (1 × 105 spores per ml and incubation temperature of 18/15°C during light/dark cycles) according to the methodology described by Lebeda and Urban (3) onto the abaxial surface of leaf discs of all genotypes of a differential set of cucurbits for P. cubensis pathotype determination (4). C. moschata (line Novo5, Nohel-Garden, CR) was added to this set. The isolate PC 88/2009 was highly pathogenic to all screened Cucurbita spp. genotypes (C. pepo, C. maxima, and C. moschata). However, no infection was detected on most of the Cucumis accessions; only Cucumis melo subsp. agrestis var. conomon was susceptible. Also, no infection was observed on other differentials (Citrullus, Benincasa, Luffa, and Lagenaria). The pathotype was classified as Pc 4/15/0. This pathotype had not been previously detected in CR.
References: (1) D. F. Farr and A. Y. Rossman. Fungal Databases. Systematic Mycology and Microbiology Laboratory, ARS, USDA. Retrieved from http://nt.ars-grin.gov/fungaldatabases/. December 16, 2010. (2) A. Lebeda and Y. Cohen. Eur. J. Plant Pathol. 129:157, 2011. (3) A. Lebeda and J. Urban. Page 285 in: Mass Screening Techniques for Selecting Crops Resistant to Disease. M. M. Spencer and A. Lebeda, eds. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, Austria, 2010 (4) A. Lebeda and M. P. Widrlechner. J. Plant Dis. Protect. 110:337, 2003.
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