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Buckeye Rot of Tomato Caused by Phytophthora capsici in Michoacan, Mexico

July 2003 , Volume 87 , Number  7
Pages  872.3 - 872.3

S. P. Fernández-Pavía and G. Rodríguez-Alvarado , Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Morelia, Michoacán 58240, México ; and J. M. Sánchez-Yañez , Instituto de Investigaciones Químico-Biológicas, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Morelia, Michoacán 58030, México

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Accepted for publication 23 April 2003.

The state of Michoacan is one of the main fresh pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) producers in Mexico. During the last 5 years, pepper-producing areas in the state have become unproductive due to root-rotting pathogens, mainly Phytophthora capsici Leonian. Growers trying to overcome losses have increased tomato production in areas previously used for pepper production. Field-grown tomato plants with diseased green tomato fruits were observed in Tacambaro, Michoacan, during August 2002. Initially, brown-to-black lesions developed on fruits in contact with soil, followed by infection of the upper fruits in the raceme. Lesions enlarged and dark zonate “buckeye” bands were formed in the affected area. Diseased fruit turned mushy. Symptoms observed were similar to those described for buckeye rot of tomato (1). Diseased fruit were surface disinfested with 70% ethanol, cut into 0.5-cm slices, and incubated in a moist chamber to induce mycelial colonization. Isolation from mycelial tufts growing through the tomato slice was performed 3 days later, and mycelia was transferred to PARP selective medium (corn meal agar (CMA) plus ampicillin, pimaricin, rifampicin, and pentachloronitrobenzene). P. capsici was consistently isolated from diseased tomato fruits. Oomycete identification was based on sporangial and gametangial characteristics of cultures grown on CMA (1). Sporangia microscopically observed were spherical, broadly ellipsoid or obovoid with one papilla (occasionally two papillae), and deciduous with a long pedicel. Chlamydospores were not present (2). The isolates were heterothallic, and oogonia with amphigynous antheridia were observed in pairings with A1 and A2 isolates of P. capsici. Three isolates were A1 and two isolates were A2. To confirm pathogenicity, two experiments were performed using 20 healthy unwounded green tomatoes. One isolate of each mating type was tested. Isolates were grown for 5 days on CMA, and fruits were inoculated by placing P. capsici in contact with the fruit. Inoculated fruits were kept in a moist chamber at room temperature (17 to 20°C). Initial symptoms in the form of brown-to-black lesions appeared 24 h after inoculation. One week after inoculation, symptoms were similar to those observed in field-grown plants, and P. capsici was recovered from the margins of the diseased tissue. All inoculated fruits rotted. To our knowledge, this is the first report of P. capsici causing buckeye rot on tomato in Michoacan and of the presence of both mating types in the area.

Reference: (1) D. C. Erwin and O. K. Ribeiro. Phytophthora Diseases Worldwide. The American Phytopathological Society. St. Paul MN, 1996. (2) M. Aragaki and J. Y. Uchida. Mycologia 93:137, 2001.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society