Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste (CIBNOR), Apdo. Postal 128, La Paz 23090, Mexico
PICTIPAPA/CEEM, Apdo. Postal 3-12, Metepec 52176, México
Instituto de Fitosanidad, Colegio de Postgraduados, Montecillo 56230, México
Solanum cardiophyllum Lindl and Solanum ehrenbergii (Bitt) Rydb are wild edible potato plants found throughout central Mexico (2). These plants are not cultivated, but farmers collect tubers for their own consumption and to sell at local markets (2). Wilted plants were observed in experimental plots of these wild potatoes established near Chapingo, Mexico, during spring 1983. Initial symptoms included wilting and dark yellowing of lower leaves. As the disease advanced, all of the foliage became chlorotic and the plants wilted and eventually died. Disease incidence was 13.4% for S. ehrenbergii and 0.2% for S. cardiophyllum. Verticillium dahliae Kleb. was consistently isolated from the roots and lower stems of diseased plants of both Solanum species. The isolating procedure consisted of thoroughly rinsing roots and lower stems with tap water and cutting roots and stems into 3- to 6-cm sections that were placed in 10% bleach for 3 to 5 min. Bleach excess was removed with sterile paper, and the tissue sections were cut into smaller pieces (0.5 cm) and placed on potato dextrose agar (PDA) plates. Cultures of Verticillium produced numerous dark microsclerotia of various shapes and sizes (0.05 to 0.1 mm); erect, slender, hyaline, and branched conidiophores; and elliptical and hyaline, single-celled conidia characteristic of V. dahliae (1). Pathogenicity studies were conducted in a greenhouse on 2-month-old S. cardiophyllum and S. ehrenbergii plants grown from tubers. Inoculum was obtained from colonies growing on PDA for 10 days producing abundant conidia. Conidial suspensions were obtained by flooding the plate cultures with sterile distilled water, filtering the suspension with two layers of cheesecloth, and adjusting the inoculum to 1.0 × 106 conidia/ml (3). Ten ml of the conidial suspension were applied to each of four holes 5 cm deep and 3 to 5 cm next to the crown of each plant. Symptoms similar to those observed on field-grown plants were observed 15 days after inoculation, and V. dahliae was re-isolated from lower stems and roots. All inoculated plants were dead 4 weeks after inoculation. Water-inoculated plants remained healthy throughout the experiments. This is the first report of V. dahliae on S. cardiophyllum and S. ehrenbergii.
References: (1) G. R. Dixon. Vegetable Crop Diseases. Avi Publishing, Westport, Connecticut. 1981. (2) J. Galindo. Naturaleza 13:175, 1982. (3) H. A. Melouk and C. E. Horner. Phytopathology 65:767, 1975.