Parsley, Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Nyman, is a minor but important leaf crop in Korea. In June 2010, parsley plants (cv. Paramount) showing typical symptoms of powdery mildew were found with approximately 90% incidence (percentage of plants showing symptoms) in polyethylene-film-covered greenhouses in an organic farm in Icheon County of Korea. Symptoms first appeared as thin white colonies, which subsequently showed abundant growth on the leaves with chlorosis and crinkling. Most diseased plantings were unmarketable and shriveled without being harvested. The damage due to powdery mildew infections on parsley has reappeared in Icheon County and Gangneung City with confirmation of the causal agent made again in 2011 and 2012. Voucher specimens were deposited in the Korea University Herbarium (KUS). Appressoria on the mycelium were multilobed or moderately lobed. Conidiophores were cylindrical, 75 to 125 × 8 to 10 μm, straight in foot-cells, and produced conidia singly, followed by 2 to 3 cells. Conidia were oblong-elliptical to oblong, 32 to 55 × 14 to 20 μm with a length/width ratio of 1.7 to 2.9, lacked fibrosin bodies, and produced germ tubes on the perihilar position, with angular/rectangular wrinkling of the outer walls. First-formed conidia were apically conical, basally subtruncate to rounded, and generally smaller than the secondary conidia. Chasmothecia were not found. These structures are typical of the powdery mildew Pseudoidium anamorph of the genus Erysiphe. The specific measurements and morphological characteristics were consistent with those of E. heraclei DC. (1). To confirm the identity of the causal fungus, the complete ITS region of rDNA from isolate KUS-F25037 was amplified with primers ITS5 and P3 (3) and sequenced directly. The resulting 606-bp sequence was deposited in GenBank (Accession No. KF680162). A GenBank BLAST search of this sequence revealed 100% identity with that of E. heraclei on Anethum graveolens from Korea (JN603995) and >99% similarity with those of E. heraclei on Daucus carota from Mexico (GU252368), Pimpinella affinis from Iran (AB104513), Anthriscus cerefolium from Korea (KF111807), and many other parsley family (Apiaceae) plants. Pathogenicity was verified through inoculation by gently pressing diseased leaves onto leaves of five healthy potted parsley plants. Five non-inoculated plants served as negative controls. Inoculated plants developed symptoms after 7 days, whereas the control plants remained symptomless. The fungus present on the inoculated plants was morphologically identical to that originally observed on diseased plants. Parsley powdery mildew caused by E. heraclei has been known in Europe, North America, Brazil, and Japan (2,4). To our knowledge, this is the first report of powdery mildew infections by E. heraclei on parsley in Korea. Since cultivation of parsley was only recently started on a commercial scale in Korea, powdery mildew infections pose a serious threat to safe production of this herb, especially those grown in organic farming where chemical options are limited.
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) D. F. Farr and A. Y. Rossman. Fungal Databases. Syst. Mycol. Microbiol. Lab., Online publication, ARS, USDA, retrieved September 17, 2013. (3) S. Takamatsu et al. Mycol. Res. 113:117, 2009. (4) Y. Tsuzaki and K. Sogou. Proc. Assoc. Plant Prot. Shikoku 24:47, 1989.
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