Chinese cabbage, Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis (syn. Brassica pekinensis (Lour.) Rupr.), in the Brassicaceae, is an important vegetable grown on about 3 million ha in China. Since 2012, a powdery mildew has been found infecting Chinese cabbage plants (cv. Qingyanchunbai No. 1) after bolting for seed production from autumn through spring 2013 in a greenhouse in Qingdao, China. Symptoms first appeared as circular to irregular white patches on both sides of the leaves, and on stems and pods, often thinly covering the whole surface. A voucher specimen was deposited in the herbarium of Qingdao Agricultural University (Accession No. HMQAU12216). Hyphae were thin-walled, smooth, hyaline, and 4 to 6 μm wide. Appressoria on the mycelia were well developed, lobed, solitary, or in pairs. Conidiophores were erect, cylindrical, 45 to 110 μm long, and comprised 3 to 4 cells. Foot-cells of conidiophores were straight, cylindrical, 16 to 28 μm long, and 7.6 to 10 μm wide. Singly-produced conidia were oblong to cylindrical or somewhat ellipsoid-doliiform, 32 to 56 × 12 to 18 μm, with a length/width ratio of 1.8 to 3.8, with angular/rectangular wrinkling of the outer wall surface, and lacked distinct fibrosin bodies. Germ tubes were produced in the perihilar position of conidia. No chasmothecia were found. These structures are typical of the powdery mildew Pseudoidium anamorph of Erysiphe (2). The specific measurements and characteristics (especially short foot-cells of conidiophores) were consistent with previous records of Erysiphe cruciferarum Opiz ex L. Junell (2,3). To confirm the identification, the complete internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of rDNA of isolate HMQAU12216 was amplified (4) and sequenced directly. The resulting 649-bp sequence was deposited in GenBank (Accession No. KC878683). A GenBank BLAST search of ITS sequences showed an exact match with those of E. cruciferarum on B. oleracea var. acephala (GU721075) and Oidium sp. on B. pekinensis (AB522714). A pathogenicity test was conducted by gently pressing a symptomatic leaf loaded with conidia onto a leaf of each five, healthy, potted, 40-day-old plants (cv. Qingyanchunbai No. 1). Five non-inoculated plants served as a control treatment. Inoculated plants were isolated from non-inoculated plants in separate rooms in a greenhouse at 20 ± 2°C. Inoculated plants developed signs and symptoms after 10 days, whereas the control plants remained symptomless. The fungus present on the inoculated plants was identical morphologically to that originally observed on diseased plants, thus fulfilling Koch's postulates. Though many Brassica spp. have been known to be infected with E. cruciferarum throughout the world, powdery mildew of Chinese cabbage caused by E. cruciferarum has been reported only in Finland, Germany, and Korea (1,3). To our knowledge, this is the first report of powdery mildew caused by E. cruciferarum on Chinese cabbage in China. Though occurrence of the powdery mildew on Chinese cabbage was noticed in an experimental breeding plot, this finding poses a potential threat to production of this vegetable in China.
References: (1) U. Braun. The Powdery Mildews (Erysiphales) of Europe. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena, Germany, 1995. (2) U. Braun and R. T. A. Cook. Taxonomic Manual of the Erysiphales (Powdery Mildews), CBS Biodiversity Series No. 11. CBS, Utrecht, 2012. (3) H. J. Jee et al. Plant Pathol. 57:777, 2008. (4) S. Matsuda and S. Takamatsu. Mol. Phylogen. Evol. 27:314, 2003.
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