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First Report of Powdery Mildew on Greenhouse Tomatoes Caused by Oidium neolycopersici in Florida

December 2001 , Volume 85 , Number  12
Pages  1,292.2 - 1,292.2

J. J. Marois and M. T. Momol , University of Florida, North Florida Research and Education Center, Department of Plant Pathology, Quincy 32351 ; J. W. Kimbrough , University of Florida, Department of Plant Pathology, Gainesville 32611 ; R. C. Hochmuth , University of Florida, North Florida Research and Education Center, Live Oak, 32060 ; and W. Dankers , University of Florida, North Florida Research and Education Center, Department of Plant Pathology, Quincy 32351

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Accepted for publication 24 August 2001.

In December 1999, typical signs of powdery mildew-dense white mycelium in irregular patterns often covering almost the entire upper surface of leaves-were observed in production greenhouses on tomato cv. Tradiro. Microscopic observations revealed mycelium with lobed appressoria and large, approximately cylindrical conidia that measured 38 to 45 × 16 to18 μm. Short germ tubes were at one end of the conidium and ended in a lobed appressorium. Conidiophores were straight with cylindrical foot-cells (≈40 to 42 μm), followed by two short cells (14 to18 μm). Based on these characteristics the fungus was identified as 0idium neolycopersici Kiss et al. (2) (formerly O. lycopersicum Braun [1]). Disease-free tomato cv. FL47 plants were inoculated at the fourth true-leaf stage with conidia by transferring fungal colonies collected from plants in production greenhouses with a single-edged razor blade to the adaxial surface of the test plants (six plants and three leaves per plant). Plants were grown in the greenhouse at 20 to 25°C. Powdery mildew, exhibiting the same morphological features, was observed 12 days later on inoculated tomato leaves. Powdery mildew on tomatoes in Suwannee Valley area greenhouses in Florida was quite common and severe in 1999 to 2000. Secondary cycles of the disease were observed, resulting in disease incidence up to 50 to 60% in some greenhouses, requiring repeated applications of sulfur for its management. This disease is expected to become a significant problem in greenhouse tomatoes, requiring regular disease control measures. This powdery mildew has not yet been observed in field-grown tomatoes in Florida. The pathogen has been reported in Connecticut on tomatoes grown under greenhouse and field conditions (3). To our knowledge, this is the first report of O. neolycopersici on greenhouse-grown tomatoes in Florida.

References: (1) U. Braun. The Powdery Mildews (Erysiphales) of Europe. Gustav Fisher Verlag, New York, 1995. (2) L. Kiss et al. Mycol. Res. 105:684, 2001. (3) J. A. LaMondia et al. Plant Dis. 83:341, 1999.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society