In July 2010, flower rot of thread-leaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata) was found in a garden in the Icheon City, Korea. The disease affected about 20 to 50% of a 100 m2 area. The disease was characterized by the appearance of pinkish mycelia on the stigmata and inflorescences of flowers. In some cases, flowers failed to bloom or turned brown before opening fully. Fragments (each 5 × 5 mm) of the symptomatic tissue were surface-sterilized with 1% NaOCl for 1 min, and then rinsed twice in sterilized distilled water. The tissue pieces were placed on water agar (WA) and incubated at 25°C for 4 to 6 days. Twenty-two isolates of Fusarium species were obtained from the diseased flowers. All isolates were identified as Fusarium succisae based on their morphological characteristics on carnation leaf agar (CLA) medium and DNA sequences of the translation elongation factor 1-alpha gene (1). Macroconidia and sporodochia were sparsely produced on CLA medium. Microconidia were abundant, borne in false heads, oval or allantoid and sometimes pyriform, and measured 4.2 to 13 × 2.2 to 5.4 μm. Chlamydospores were absent. The EF-1α gene was amplified from three isolates by PCR assay and the amplification products were sequenced (2). The nucleotide sequences obtained were deposited in GenBank with accession numbers KF514658, KF514659, and KF514660. BLASTn analysis showed 99% homology with the EF-1α sequence of F. succisae NRRL13613 (GenBank Accession No. AF160291). Pathogenicity tests were conducted with inoculation of flowers on Coreopsis verticillata. Spore suspension was prepared by flooding 7-day-old cultures on potato dextrose agar with sterilized 2% (w/v) sugar solution. When the plants started to have buds, the isolates were inoculated by placing one drop (20 μl) of spore suspension (1 × 106 spores ml−1) into the buds. Fifteen buds of the plants were arranged into three replications. The control was treated with sterilized 2% sugar solution. Inoculated plants were kept in a greenhouse at 25/20°C (12 h/12 h). Three weeks after inoculation, the symptoms were observed on buds with mycelial production. Control plants had no mycelia on buds. F. succisae was re-isolated from the inoculated flowers. To our knowledge, this is the first report of flower rot of thread-leaf coreopsis caused by F. succisae.
References: (1) J. F. Leslie and B. A. Summerell. The Fusarium Laboratory Manual. Blackwell Publishing, Ames, IA, 2006. (2) K. O'Donnell et al. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 95:2044, 1998.
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