Zantedeschia aethiopica (L.) Spreng. (calla lily), belonging to family Araceae, is a popular ornamental plant in China. In the summer of 2010, leaves of calla lily with typical symptoms of necrotic lesions were observed in a commercial glasshouse in Beijing, China (116°20′ E, 39°44′ N). The initial symptoms were circular to subcircular, 1 to 3 mm, and dark brown lesions on the leaf lamina. Under high humidity, lesions expanded rapidly to 5 to 10 mm with distinct concentric zones and produced black sporodochia, especially on the backs of leaves. Later, the infected leaves were developing a combination of leaf lesions, yellowing, and falling off; as a result, the aesthetic value of the plant was significantly impacted. Leaf samples were used in pathogen isolation. Symptomatic leaf tissues were cut into small pieces and surface sterilized with 70% ethanol for 30 s and then in 0.1% mercuric chloride solution for 1 to 3 min. After being washed in sterile distilled water three times, the pieces were plated on potato dextrose agar (PDA) and incubated at 25°C in darkness for 7 days (5). Initial colonies of isolates were white, floccose mycelium and developed dark green to black concentric rings that were sporodochia bearing viscid spore masses after incubating 5 days. Conidiophores branched repeatedly. Conidiogenous cells were hyaline, clavate, and 10.0 to 16.0 × 1.4 to 2.0 μm. Conidia were hyaline, cylindrical, both rounded ends, and 6.0 to 8.2 × 1.9 to 2.4 μm. Morphological characteristics of the fungus were consistent with the description of Myrothecium roridum Tode ex Fr. (3,4). To confirm the pathogenicity, three healthy plants of calla lily were inoculated with a conidial suspension (1 × 106 conidia per ml) brushed from a 7-day-old culture of the fungus. Control plants were sprayed with sterile water. The inoculated plants were individual with clear plastic bags and placed in a glass cabinet at 25°C. After 7 days, all inoculated leaves developed symptoms similar to the original samples, but control plants remained disease free. Re-isolation and identification confirmed Koch's postulates. For molecular identification, genomic DNA of a representative isolate (MTL07081001) was extracted by modified CTAB method (1), and the rDNA-ITS region was amplified by using primers ITS1 (5-TCCGTAGGTGAACCTGCGG-3) and ITS4 (5-TCCTCCGCTTATTGATATGC-3). The 465-bp amplicon (GenBank Accession No. KF761293) was 100% identity to the sequence of M. roridum (JF724158.1) from GenBank. M. roridum has an extensive host range, covering 294 host plants (2). To our knowledge, this is the first record of leaf spot caused by M. roridum on calla lily in China.
References: (1) F. M. Ausubel et al. Current Protocols in Molecular Biology. John Wiley & Sons Inc, New York, 1994. (2) D. F. Farr and A. Y. Rossman, Fungal Databases. Syst. Mycol. Microbiol. Lab., ARS, USDA. Retrieved from http://nt.ars-grin.gov/fungaldatabases/, October 2013. (3) M. T. Mmbaga et al. Plant Dis. 94:1266, 2010. (4) Y. X. Zhang et al. Plant Dis. 95:1030, 2011. (5) L. Zhu et al. J. Phytopathol. 161:59, 2013.
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