USDA, ARS, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-6402
Institute for Wheat and Sunflower ‘Dobroudja’ near General Toshevo, Bulgaria
Pisum sativum L. subsp. elatius (Steven ex M. Bieb.) Asch. & Graebn. is a wild pea species that is native to Bulgaria. It readily crosses to the cultivated pea species P. sativum subsp. sativum. Field pea is an important component in the crop rotation system of the northeast region of Bulgaria. Little is known or published on the diseases of wild Pisum subspecies. In June 1997, brown to reddish brown, irregularly shaped lesions 5 to 10 mm in diameter were found on the leaves and stems of P. sativum subsp. elatius growing under native conditions in the low growing vegetation in a mixed forest habitat on the Black Sea coast at Albena, Bulgaria (43°22′26″N; 28°05′02″E) at an elevation of about 50 m. Black pycnidia were observed within lesions and contained hyaline, primarily two-celled conidia that measured 7 to 17 × 3 to 5 μm. On artificially inoculated pea stem pieces incubated on 2% water agar (WA) at 22 to 24°C for 28 days, pseudothecia developed with hyaline, two-celled ascospores constricted at the septum and measuring 12 to 17 × 4 to 7 μm. Black chlamydospores produced singly or in chains also formed in infected foliar tissues and on potato dextrose agar (PDA) and WA. Isolations were made from the lesions on pea tissue onto WA and PDA after disinfesting in 0.25% NaOCl for 5 min. Koch's postulates were fulfilled by inoculating the foliage of P. sativum subsp. sativum cvs. Dark Skin Perfection and Sounder and P. sativum subsp. elatius (W6-20047), and reisolating the fungus from lesions that developed on the inoculated leaves and stems. The wild Pisum fungus was identified as Mycosphaerella pinodes (Berk. & Blox.) Vestergr. based on cultural and morphological characteristics (2), pathogenicity tests, and by comparing random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers with those of American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) isolates 201628 to 201633 of M. pinodes. The fungus was identified as a pathogen of cultivated peas in Bulgaria by Kovachevsky and Hristov (1) in 1949. This is the first report of M. pinodes infecting P. sativum subsp. elatius in Bulgaria and other countries where P. sativum subsp. elatius is a native plant species.
References: (1) I. H. Kovachevsky and A. Hristov. 1949. Bulgarian Acad. Sci., Scientific-Popular Ser. 10. (2) E. Punithalingam and P. Holliday. 1972. CMI Descript. of Pathog. Fungi and Bacteria, no. 340. Commonwealth Mycol. Institute, Kew, England.