Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, Tifton 31793
Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, 212 Macon Rd., Winnsboro 71295
Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, P.O. Box 300, Waynesboro 30830
Partridgepea (Cassia fasciculata Michx.) is grown in the southeastern U.S. in food plots for game birds. In 1997, numerous dead plants were observed in a commercial planting for seed production. Perithecia of Calonectria ilicicola Boedijin & Reitsma (imperfect stage: Cylindrocladium parasiticum Crous, Wingfield & Alfenas), a serious pathogen of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), were found on the crown of diseased plants. Two isolates each from partridgepea and peanut were grown on potato dextrose agar for 5 weeks. Microsclerotia produced were added to a 2:1 mixture of pasteurized field soil and Pro-mix potting medium (25 microsclerotia per g of mix). Both infested and noninfested potting mixes were put in Super Cell Cone-Tainers (Stuewe & Sons, Corvallis, OR) in the greenhouse and planted to one pre-germinated seed each of either peanut or partridgepea (10 replications). Soil moisture was kept at field capacity and after 7 weeks root rot severity (0 to 4 scale with 4 = dead plant) and fresh weight of whole plants and roots were determined. Mean disease ratings for peanut were 2.1 and 2.5 with the peanut and partridgepea isolates, respectively, and 0.1 for the controls. Mean disease ratings for partridgepea were 3.2 and 3.2 with the peanut and partridgepea isolates, respectively, and 1.0 for the controls. Peanut and partridgepea plant weights were reduced by 50 and 68%, respectively, compared with controls. Reductions in root weights were similar to those for whole plants. The pathogen was consistently recovered from diseased roots. In summary, all four isolates were pathogenic to both hosts, but partridgepea was more susceptible (P ≤ 0.05) than peanut to C. parasiticum. Sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia (L.) H. Irwin & Barneby), one of the most troublesome weeds in the southeastern U.S., was previously observed to have black rot symptoms and perithecia of C. ilicicola on the crowns of diseased plants. Plants grown in soil infested with an isolate of the fungus from sicklepod exhibited typical symptoms and the pathogen was reisolated from diseased tissue. Rotation with soybean (Glycine max L.) traditionally has been the major concern for peanut production in fields with a history of Cylindrocladium black rot; however, these additional hosts also should be considered.