Dry bulb onion (Allium cepa L. cvs. Pulsar, Bradley, and Livingston) plants with symptoms of anthracnose were observed in three commercial fields totaling 76.5 ha in Huron Co., Ohio, in July 2013. Symptoms were oval leaf lesions and yellowing, curling, twisting, chlorosis, and death of leaves. Nearly half of the plants in a 32.8-ha field of the cv. Pulsar were symptomatic. Concentric rings of acervuli with salmon-colored conidial masses were observed in the lesions. Conidia were straight with tapered ends and 16 to 23 × 3 to 6 μm (2). Colletotrichum coccodes (Wallr.) S. Hughes was regularly isolated from infected plants (2). Culturing diseased leaf tissue on potato dextrose agar (PDA) amended with 30 ppm rifampicin and 100 ppm ampicillin at room temperature yielded white aerial mycelia and salmon-colored conidial masses in acervuli. Numerous spherical, black microsclerotia were produced on the surface of colonies after 10 to 14 days. To confirm pathogen identity, total DNA was extracted directly from a 7-day-old culture of isolate SAM30-13 grown on PDA, using the Wizard SV Genomic DNA Purification System (Promega, Madison, WI) following the manufacturer's instructions. The ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was amplified by PCR using the primer pair ITS1 and ITS4 (2), and sequenced. The sequence, deposited in GenBank (KF894404), was 99% identical to that of a C. coccodes isolate from Michigan (JQ682644) (1). Ten onion seedlings cv. Ebenezer White at the two- to three-leaf stage of growth were spray-inoculated with a conidial suspension (1 × 105 conidia/ml containing 0.01% Tween 20, with 10 ml applied/plant). Plants were maintained in a greenhouse (21 to 23°C) until symptoms appeared. Control plants were sprayed with sterilized water containing 0.01% Tween 20, and maintained in the same environment. After 30 days, sunken, oval lesions each with a salmon-colored center developed on the inoculated plants, and microscopic examination revealed the same pathogen morphology as the original isolates. C. coccodes was re-isolated consistently from leaf lesions. All non-inoculated control plants remained disease-free, and C. coccodes was not re-isolated from leaves of control plants. C. coccodes was reported infecting onions in the United States for the first time in Michigan in 2012 (1). This is the first report of anthracnose of onion caused by C. coccodes in Ohio. Unusually wet, warm conditions in Ohio in 2013 likely contributed to the outbreak of this disease. Timely fungicide applications will be necessary to manage this disease in affected areas.
References: (1) A. K. Lees and A. J. Hilton. Plant Pathol. 52:3. 2003. (2) L. M. Rodriguez-Salamanca et al. Plant Dis. 96:769. 2012. (3) T. J. White et al. Page 315 in: PCR Protocols: A Guide to Methods and Applications. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 1990.
Get ALL the Latest Updates for ICPP2018: PLANT HEALTH IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY. Follow APS!