Root rot is a major disease of dry bean and can cause significant yield reductions due to weakened root systems and poor plant stands. An in-depth study on root rot pathogen identification was conducted in 2011 in three commercial dry bean fields from the major production areas in Manitoba. Ten plants, sampled at each of four random sites within each field, were rated for disease severity. Twenty roots were processed for pathogen isolation and identification in the laboratory. Roots were cut into eight sections (~1 cm) and surface-sterilized in a laminar flow bench. Four root sections were placed on potato dextrose agar plates amended with 0.02% streptomycin sulfate (PDA-Strep) and four root sections were placed on peptone-pentachloronitrobenzene agar amended with 0.1% streptomycin sulfate and 0.012% neomycin sulfate. Afterward, 960 monosporic cultures were obtained representing 320 single spore isolates of potential root rot pathogens per commercial field. Common monosporic cultures from each field were subcultured on PDA-Strep and Spezieller Nährstoffarmer Agar (SNA) media. Based on morphological characteristics, 74 isolates were identified as Fusarium cuneirostrum (1). Colonies grew slowly on PDA-Strep with undulated margins, radial cream-grey mycelia, and conidia pustules with a cream-greyish pigmentation. Sporodochial conidia were falcate, mostly 5-septate, with a wedge shape and slightly protruding basal foot cell (56.3 to 71.8 × 4.6 to 6.2 μm on average). Species identity was confirmed for two isolates by sequencing the translation elongation factor 1 alpha (EF1-α) gene (2), the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region (4), and the ribosomal intergenic spacer (IGS) (3) (GenBank Accession Nos. KF530848, KF530849, and KF025648 to 51). Sequence homology was compared using BLAST analysis and the FUSARIUM-ID database. The F. cuneirostrum isolates were deposited at the Canadian Collection of Fungal Cultures (DAOM 242540 and 242541). Pathogenicity screenings of two isolates was performed using sterilized seed of navy bean cv. Envoy. Seeds were germinated on moist filter paper for 3 days at 25°C and then inoculated by immersion in a prepared conidial suspension (2.5 × 105 conidia/ml) for 5 min. Seeds of the controls were immersed in sterile water. After inoculation, the germinated seeds were planted in 10-cm diameter pots, filled with sterile soilless mix (Sunshine #3). In the greenhouse, the experiment was arranged as a completely randomized design with three replicates with four germinated seeds per isolate, and was repeated twice. Disease assessment was performed 14 days after inoculation. Infected plants displayed dark brown lesions on the hypocotyl and primary root with a disease severity of 4 scored on a 0 to 5 scale. Fusarium cuneirostrum was re-isolated from roots of symptomatic plants. To our knowledge, this is the first report of F. cuneirostrum causing root rot of dry bean in Canada. It has been previously isolated from mung bean (Vigna radiata) in Ontario (1).
References: (1) T. Aoki et al. Mycoscience. 46:162, 2005. (2) D. M. Geiser et al. Eur. J. Plant Pathol. 110:473, 2004. (4) H. Wang et al. J. Clin. Microbiol. 49:1890, 2011. (3) T. J. White et al. Page 315 in: PCR Protocols: A Guide to Methods and Applications. M. A. Innis et al., eds. Academic Press, New York, 1990.
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