Carrot (Daucus carota L.) is an economically important vegetable crop in China. In August 2008, a disease was observed on carrot in Inner Mongolia. The symptoms appeared as dry rot lesions on root surface, expressing light brown cankers with defined rounded or irregular shapes (1,3). The average disease incidence was up to 80% in Tuo Ke Tuo County. The disease has been a serious problem in these two counties since then, especially where consecutive carrot cropping was practiced. Carrot roots with typical dry rot symptoms were washed with tap water. Root tissues near the margin of necrotic lesions were excised, surface sterilized with 1% NaOCl for 3 min, and rinsed with sterile distilled water three times. The disinfected tissue was placed on potato dextrose agar (PDA) in a petri dish. Plates were incubated at 25 ± 1°C in the dark for 4 days. Fusarium single spore isolates were obtained from characteristic colonies (1). Three isolates (CF1, CF2, and CF3) were used for further study. The isolates were identified as Fusarium spp. on the basis of microscopic morphology on PDA. CF1 produced pink pigment, abundant falciform macroconidia of 14.7 to 38.2 × 4.5 to 5.7 μm with 2 to 3 septates, and elliptic microconidia of 7.5 to 15.1 × 3.3 to 5.4 μm with none or one septate. CF2 and CF3 produced light blue pigment, abundant falciform macroconidia of 16.4 to 34.4 × 4.0 to 6.1 μm with 2 to 3 septates, and elliptic microconidia of 6.7 to 10.7 × 3.0 to 4.9 μm with none or one septate. They were further identified and confirmed by PCR. The PCR involved amplifying the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of ribosomal DNA using genomic DNA as the template with universal primers ITS1 and ITS4 (2). The PCR products were sequenced. BLAST analysis of these sequences against the GenBank database determined the taxonomy of the isolates. The sequence of CF1 was 99% identical to F. oxysporum (Accession No. KC594035); sequences of CF2 and CF3 were 99% identical to F. solani (KC215123). To confirm the pathogenicity of the isolates, mature carrot roots (cv. Hong Ying 2) were inoculated with mycelial plugs (5 mm in diameter) cut from the margin of actively growing colonies on PDA plates. One mycelial plug was placed on each carrot root, with the mycelial side facing the root. PDA plugs were used for controls. Each treatment had five replicates. The inoculated roots were incubated in a humid chamber (90% RH) at 25°C. Four days after incubation, mycelia of the isolates developed and covered most of the surface of carrot roots, and brown rot lesions were observed on all inoculated roots, while the controls remained symptomless. This experiment was repeated. In another trial, carrot seeds (cv. Hong Ying 2) were sown in sterilized soil in pots (30 × 25 cm opening) with 15 seeds per pot. The soil was infested with either CF1, CF2, or CF3 by adding spore suspension to make the final concentration of 1 × 104 CFU/g soil. Plants grown in non-infested soil served as controls. There were three replicates per treatment. All the treated pots were placed in a field. After 13 weeks, the same symptoms of dry rot were observed as previously described. No symptoms were observed on the control plants. The trial was repeated. Symptomatic tissues from the inoculated roots were sampled and the pathogen was re-isolated, and identified using PCR. To our knowledge, this is the first report of F. oxysporum and F. solani causing dry rot of carrot in China.
References: (1) H. Abe et al. Annual Report of the Society of Plant Protection of North Japan, 48:106-108, 1997. (2) X. Lu. Plant Dis. 97:991, 2013. (3) A. F. Sherf and A. MacNab. Pages 138-139 in: Vegetable Diseases and Their Control. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1986.
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