University of Florida, Everglades Research and Education Center, P.O. Box 8003, Belle Glade 33430
University of Florida, Indian River Research and Education Center, Ft. Pierce 34945. Florida Agric. Exp. Sta. Journal Series R-06021
Powdery mildew was observed affecting mature, field-grown, fresh-market tomatoes in southeastern Florida (St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, and Broward counties). Outbreaks were noted in May of 1996 and throughout the spring of 1997. Affected leaves were generally yellow and, in some cases, developed a purplish cast. Whitish areas of fungal growth were often seen in the middle of lesions, but were less prominent than that reported for powdery mildew of field tomato in Hungary (2). Microscopic examination revealed that conidia were produced in chains, contained no fibrosin bodies, and were not dimorphic. Conidial measurements were 33.2 × 15.6 μm, based on 21 samples of five conidia taken from five different fields. These measurements were similar to those for an Erysiphe sp. causing powdery mildew of greenhouse tomato in New York (1). Greenhouse-grown tomato plants, cv. Sunny, in the fourth-true-leaf stage were inoculated with conidia scraped from lesions gathered in commercial fields. A single-edged razor blade was used to transfer the fungus to the adaxial surface of the test plants. Powdery mildew symptoms were observed within 10 days of inoculation. Morphology and size of conidia taken from greenhouse plants were similar to those for original field samples. This is the first report of powdery mildew of field-grown tomato in Florida.
References: (1) D. M. Karasevicz and T. A. Zitter. Plant Dis. 80:709, 1996. (2) L. Kiss. Plant Dis. 80:224, 1996.