Rumex acetosa L., common name sorrel (in Brazil, azedinha), is an herb from Europe and Asia commonly used either as a vegetable or a medicinal plant (1). No pathogen has been recorded on this plant species in Brazil, where it has been promoted as an alternative vegetable crop. During a routine inspection of a vegetable garden in the campus of the Universidade Federal de Viçosa (Viçosa, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil) in July 2011, a group of sorrel plants were found bearing blight symptoms. Infected leaves had laminae with soaked irregular necrotic areas and infected petioles had reddish lesions. Healthy leaves touched by neighboring blighted leaves became diseased. A mycelial web was always associated with necrotic tissues. A representative specimen was collected, dried in a plant press, and deposited in the local herbarium (VIC 39063). Pure cultures were obtained through direct transfer of mycelium to PDA plates and deposited in the culture collection at the Universidade Federal de Viçosa – Coleção Oswaldo Almeida Drummond (COAD 1265). Slides containing fungal structures were mounted in lactophenol and observed under a microscope (Olympus BX 51). The fungus had the following morphology: mycelium superficial, either filiform or monilioid and constricted at septae, 6 to 10 μm diameter, often branching at right angles or nearly so, typically bearing a septum at branches near the branching point. Additionally, large, poorly differentiated, dirty white sclerotia were formed in older cultures. When mounted in DAPI, 7-day-old mycelium was seen to bear 5 to 13 nuclei per cell. These characteristics suggested that the fungus was Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn (RS). Anastomosis group (AG) was determined by sequencing the rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region using primers ITS5 and ITS4 (4). A BLAST search revealed that the sequence (GenBank Accession No. KC887353) had 96% sequence identity with RS AG-1-IB GenBank accessions JN426850.1, GU596491.1, JQ692292.1, and JQ692291.1. Pathogenicity of the isolate obtained from sorrel was tested by inoculating four healthy individuals with culture plugs taken from the margin of actively growing cultures on V8 juice agar. Inoculated plants were placed in a dew chamber for 48 h and later transferred to the bench of a greenhouse. Necrosis appeared on all inoculated plants 2 days after inoculation, developing into severe blight after 7 days. RS was isolated from infected tissues. RS AG-1-IB is known as a broad host-range plant pathogen (3). This is its first report as a pathogen of sorrel in Brazil. The sole other published record of this disease on sorrel is from the United States (2).
References: (1) N. R. Madeira et al. Hortic. Brasil. 26:428, 2008. (2) G. L. Peltier. Parasitic rhizoctonias in America. University of Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, 1915. (3) B. Sneh, L. Burpee, and A. Ogoshi. Identification of Rhizoctonia species. APS Press, St Paul, MN, 1991. (4) T. J. White et al. Page 315 in: PCR Protocols: A Guide to Methods and Applications. M. A. Innis et al., eds. Academic Press, Inc., New York, 1990.
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