Fusarium nygamai Burgess & Trimboli was first described in 1986 in Australia (1) and subsequently reported in Africa, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Puerto Rico, and the United States. F. nygamai has been reported on sorghum, millet, bean, cotton, and in soil where it exists as a colonizer of living plants or plant debris. F. nygamai was also reported as a pathogen of the witch-weed Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth. To our knowledge, no reports are available on its pathogenicity on crops of economic importance. In a survey of species of Fusarium causing seedling blight and foot rot of rice (Oryza sativa L.) carried out in Sardinia (Oristano, S. Lucia), F. nygamai was isolated in association with other Fusarium species—F. moniliforme, F. proliferatum, F. oxysporum, F. solani, F. compactum, and F. equiseti. Infected seedlings exhibited a reddish brown cortical discoloration, which was more intense in older plants. The identification of F. nygamai was based on monoconidial cultures grown on carnation leaf-piece agar (CLA) (2). The shape of macroconidia, the formation of microconidia in short chains and false heads, and the presence of chlamydospores were used as the criteria for identification. Two pathogenicity tests comparing one isolate of F. nygamai with one isolate of F. moniliforme were conducted on rice cv. Arborio sown in artificially infested soil in a greenhouse at 22 to 25°C. The inoculum was prepared by growing both Fusarium species in cornmeal sand (1:30 wt/wt) at 25°C for 3 weeks. This inoculum was added to soil at 20 g per 500 ml of soil. Pre- and post-emergence damping-off was assessed. Both F. nygamai and F. moniliforme reduced the emergence of seedlings (33 to 59% and 25 to 50%, respectively, compared to uninoculated control). After 25 days, the seedlings in infested soil exhibited a browning of the basal leaf sheaths, which progressed to a leaf and stem necrosis. Foot rot symptoms caused by F. nygamai and F. moniliforme were similar, but seedlings infected by F. nygamai exhibited a more intense browning on the stem base and a significant reduction of plant height at the end of the experiment. Either F. nygamai or F. moniliforme were consistently isolated from symptomatic tissue from the respective treatments.
References: (1) L. W. Burgess and D. Trimboli. Mycologia 78:223,1986. (2) N. L. Fisher et al. Phytopathology 72:151,1982.