A. K. M.
Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge 70803
Rice Research Station, Crowley, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Crowley 70527
White leaf streak, caused by Mycovellosiella oryzae (Deighton and Shaw) Deighton (syn. Ramularia oryzae), was found in Louisiana rice. The symptoms closely resemble those of narrow brown leaf spot caused by Cercospora janseana (Racib.) O. Const. (syn. C. oryzae (Miyake)), and it is difficult to distinguish between these two diseases. Initially both produce similar elongated light brown lesions, but later the lesions of white leaf streak become wider with a whitish center and are surrounded by a narrow light brown margin (2,3). The disease was first observed at the Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA, in 1996 on older leaves of the cultivar Lemont at maturity. Leaves containing the unusual lesion types were placed in a moist chamber and incubated at 28°C for 5 days. Abundant conidia were produced and the fungus was isolated on acidified potato dextrose agar (APDA) by single spore isolation and by plating infected tissues after surface sterilization in 40% Clorox for 10 to 15 min. The colonies grew slowly on APDA and were dark gray in color. The conidia formed in branched chains or singly. They were hyaline, cylindrical with tapering ends and a thick hilum; 0 to 3 septate, and 15 to 35 m long (1,3). Pathogenicity tests were conducted in the greenhouse on the Lemont and Cypress rice cultivars by spraying a conidial suspension (103--4 conidia per ml) onto leaf blades at boot stage. Conidia were produced by growing the fungus on PDA for 10 to 14 days. Inoculated plants were placed inside a humid chamber in a greenhouse and maintained for 4 to 5 weeks. Many elongated lesions similar to those observed in the field were produced 3 to 4 weeks after inoculation. Reisolation from these lesions yielded M. oryzae. With the same methods, 45 cultivars and lines were inoculated to determine their reactions to this disease. Most of the cultivars grown in the southern United States were moderately susceptible or susceptible to white leaf streak. Foreign cultivars tested, including BR-7, BR-11, Cica-4, Cica-6, Cica-7. Cica-8, Cica-9, Oryzica llanos, Rax clear, Teqing, and Tetep, were resistant. In 1997, the disease was found prevalent on many cultivars grown at the Rice Research Station, Crowley, LA. As symptoms of both white leaf streak and narrow brown leaf spot were sometimes observed on the same leaf; it is possible that the disease has been present, but not identified as a separate disease because of the similarity of the symptoms of the two diseases. A thorough survey is necessary to determine the extent of its occurrence and further studies are necessary to determine its yield loss potential. At present it appears to be a minor problem for Louisiana rice. White leaf streak has previously been recorded from Papua New Guinea on cultivated Oryza sativa, and from the Solomon Islands, Sabah, Nizeria, and Sierra Leone on cultivated O. glabberima Steudel and on wild perennial rice O. berthii A. Chev. (2). This is the first report of white leaf streak on cultivated rice in the United States.
References: (1) F. C. Deighton. Mycol. Pap., CMI 144:1,1979. (2) F. C. Deighton and D. Shaw. Trans. Br. Mycol. Soc. 43: 515, 1960. (3) B. C. Sutton and A. K. M. Shahjahan. Nova Hedwigia 25:197, 1981.