A new powdery mildew disease of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.) was observed for the first time in several greenhouses in Almería (Spain) in March through June 1997. Fungal growth appeared as typical, white, powdery mildew colonies that were restricted to upper leaf surfaces. Initially, individual colonies were small and nearly circular in shape but later enlarged and coalesced to cover the whole leaf surface. Conidia were produced singly on unbranched, 3-cell conidiophores, and were cylindrical to ovate, ranging in size from 27.6 to 43.5 μm (mean = 35.3, SD = 3.8) in length and from 14.1 to 23.2 μm (mean = 19.0, SD = 2.2, n = 95) in width. No fibrosin bodies were observed. Germ tubes were formed from the ends of conidia. Appressoria from mycelia were single and moderately lobed. Conidiophores measured from 56.6 to 108.8 μm (mean = 84.8, SD = 14.2) with straight foot cells 24.7 to 55.1 μm (mean = 38.6, SD = 7.5) in length, and from 7.3 to 10.2 μm (mean = 8.0, SD = 1) in width. Morphological characteristics of this powdery mildew are similar to those previously given for the Erysiphe sp. described in the United Kingdom (1) and Greece (2). Cleistothecia were not found, so species identification was not made. Conidia from infected tomato leaves were shaken onto leaves of melon (Cucumis melo L. ‘Rochet’), cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. ‘Bellpuig’), summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L. ‘Black Beauty’), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai ‘Sugar Baby’) and tomato cvs. Roma, Daniela, and Marmande. After 7 days the disease was observed on summer squashes, melons, and all tomato cultivars, but not on watermelons or cucumbers.
References: (1) J. T. Fletcher et al. Plant Pathol. 37:594, 1988. (2) D. J. Vakalounakis and A. Papadakis. Plant Pathol. 41:372, 1992.