Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium (L.) Hoffm.), belonging to the family Apiaceae, is an aromatic annual herb that is native to the Caucasus. It is widely used as a flavoring agent for culinary purposes. This herb was recently introduced in Korea. In April 2013, plants showing typical symptoms of powdery mildew disease were observed in a polyethylene film-covered greenhouse in Seoul, Korea. White mycelium bearing conidia formed irregular patches on leaves and stems. Mycelial growth was amphigenous. Severe infections caused leaf withering and premature senescence. Voucher specimens were deposited in the Korea University Herbarium (KUS). Hyphae were septate, branched, with moderately lobed appressoria. Conidiophores presented 3 to 4 cells and measured 85 to 148 × 7 to 9 μm. Foot-cells of conidiophores were 37 to 50 μm long. Conidia were produced singly, oblong-elliptical to oblong, measured 30 to 50 × 13 to 18 μm with a length/width ratio of 2.0 to 3.3, lacked conspicuous fibrosin bodies, and with angular/rectangular wrinkling of the outer walls. Germ tubes were produced in the subterminal position of 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 identity of the causal fungus, the complete internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of rDNA of KUS-F27279 was amplified with primers ITS5 and P3 (4) and sequenced directly. The resulting 561-bp sequence was deposited in GenBank (Accession No. KF111807). A GenBank BLAST search of this sequence showed >99% similarity with those of many E. heraclei isolates, e.g., Pimpinella affinis (AB104513), Anethum graveolens (JN603995), and Daucus carota (EU371725). Pathogenicity was confirmed through inoculation by gently pressing a diseased leaf onto leaves of five healthy potted chervil plants. Five non-inoculated plants served as a control treatment. Plants were maintained in a greenhouse at 22 ± 2°C. Inoculated plants developed signs and symptoms after 6 days, whereas the control plants remained healthy. The fungus present on the inoculated plants was identical morphologically to that originally observed on diseased plants. Chervil powdery mildews caused by E. heraclei have been reported in Europe (Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Switzerland, and the former Soviet Union) and the United States (2,3). To our knowledge, this is the first report of powdery mildew caused by E. heraclei on chervil in Asia as well as in Korea. The plant is cultivated in commercial farms for its edible leaves in Korea. Occurrence of powdery mildew is a threat to quality and marketability of this herb, especially those grown in organic farming where chemical control 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 July 29, 2013. (3) S. T. Koike and G. S. Saenz. Plant Dis. 88:1163, 2004. (4) S. Takamatsu et al. Mycol. Res. 113:117, 2009.