Ixeris chinensis (Thunb.) Nakai, known as Chinese ixeris, is distributed from Siberia to Japan, including Korea, Taiwan, and China. The whole plant has been used in folk medicine in Asia (4). In Korea, the plants of Chinese ixeris have been gathered and used as a wild root vegetable. During summer to autumn of 2011, Chinese ixeris leaves were found to be heavily infected with a powdery mildew in several locations of Korea. Symptoms first appeared as thin white colonies, which subsequently developed into abundant hyphal growth on both sides of the leaves, leading to drying of the leaves. The same symptoms on Chinese ixeris leaves were continuously observed in 2012 and 2013. Voucher specimens (n = 10) were deposited at Korea University Herbarium (KUS). Hyphal appressoria were moderately lobed or nipple-shaped. Conidiophores arose from the lateral part of the hyphae, measured 100 to 270 × 10 to 12.5 μm, and produced 2 to 6 immature conidia in chains with a sinuate outline. Basal parts of foot-cells in conidiophores were curved. Conidia were barrel-shaped to ellipsoid, measured 26 to 36 × 13 to 19 μm (length/width ratio = 1.7 to 2.4), lacked fibrosin bodies, and showed reticulate wrinkling of the outer walls. Primary conidia were ovate with conical-obtuse apex and subtruncate base. Germ tubes were produced on the perihilar position of conidia. Chasmothecia were not observed. The morphological characteristics were typical of the Euoidium type anamorph of the genus Golovinomyces, and the fungus measurements and structures were consistent with those of G. sonchicola U. Braun & R.T.A. Cook (1). To confirm the identification, internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of rDNA sequences from a representative material (KUS-F26212) was amplified using primers ITS5/P3 and sequenced (3). The resulting 416-bp sequence was deposited in GenBank (Accession No. KF819857). A GenBank BLAST search revealed that the isolate showed >99% sequence similarity with those of G. cichoracearum from Sonchus spp. (e.g., AB453762, AF011296, JQ010848, etc.). G. sonchicola is currently confined to G. cichoracearum s. lat. on Sonchus spp., based on molecular sequence analyses (1). Pathogenicity was confirmed through inoculation by gently pressing a diseased leaf onto leaves of five healthy potted Chinese ixeris. Five non-inoculated plants served as controls. Inoculated plants developed symptoms after 6 days, whereas the controls remained symptomless. The fungus present on the inoculated plants was identical morphologically to that originally observed on diseased plants. Powdery mildew infections of I. chinensis associated with Golovinomyces have been known in China (2). To our knowledge, this is the first report of powdery mildew disease caused by G. sonchicola on I. chinensis in Korea. Farming of Chinese ixeris has recently started on a commercial scale in Korea. Though no statistical data are available, we postulate the cultivation area in Korea to be approximately 200 ha, mostly growing without chemical controls. Occurrence of powdery mildews poses a potential threat to safe production of this vegetable, especially in organic farming.
References: (1) U. Braun and R. T. A. Cook. Taxonomic Manual of the Erysiphales (Powdery Mildews), CBS Biodiversity Series No.11. CBS, Utrecht, 2012. (2) F. L. Tai. Bull. Chinese Bot. Sci. 2:16, 1936. (3) S. Takamatsu et al. Mycol. Res. 113:117, 2009. (4) S. J. Zhang et al. J. Nat. Prod. 69:1425, 2006.