Plant Protection Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest 1525, PO Box 102, Hungary
USDA-ARS, Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research, 1301 Ditto Ave., Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD 21702
A pathogen identified as Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (Penz.) Penz. & Sacc. in Penz. was isolated from foliar and stem lesions on Russian-thistle (Salsola tragus Torner ex L.) collected in Bugac, Hungary, in 1996. Symptoms on leaves and stems began as discrete, sunken, 2- to 10-mm-diameter chlorotic spots, followed by formation of circular buff-colored lesions that eventually coalesced, desiccated, and caused plant tissue death above the lesions. Lesions that occurred near ground level usually killed the plant. Salmon-colored spore masses developed in setose acervuli in the center of the necrotic lesions. Conidia were hyaline, one-celled, falcate to nearly straight, and measured 15 to 25 × 5 to 6 μm. The teleomorph stage of the pathogen (Glomerella cingulata (Stoneman) Spauld. & H. Schrenk) was not observed in the field or on inoculated plants. These morphological characteristics of the isolate were consistent with the description of C. gloeosporioides (1). Pathogenicity was proved by completing Koch's postulates in Hungary and the U.S. Inoculation with conidial suspension (106 conidia per ml) sprayed on S. tragus plants in the greenhouse at the three- to four-leaf stage caused severe necrosis and wilting within 6 days and plant death in 2 weeks. Symptoms did not appear on control plants inoculated with sterile, distilled water. Inoculation test was repeated on 6-week-old plants and at the stage of flowering. All treated plants were killed at both stages within 4 weeks. Because of high virulence and host specificity of this isolate of C. gloeosporioides in preliminary pathogenicity tests it is being evaluated for use as a mycoherbicide for Russian-thistle control in the U.S. This is the first report of C. gloeosporioides causing anthracnose on S. tragus.
Reference: (1) B. C. Sutton. Pages 1--27 in: Colletotrichum Biology, Pathology and Control. J. A. Bailei and M. J. Jeger, eds. CAB Int., Wallingford, UK, 1992.