During the summer of 2001, leaf spots resembling those caused by Septoria musiva Peck. were observed on shining willow (Salix lucida Mühl. subsp. lucida) at Leclerville, Québec, Canada (46°34′19″N,71°59′35″W). Affected leaves had brown, necrotic leaf spots (>5mm in diameter) surrounded by a darker brown halo. Conidia were cylindrical, straight to curved with 1 to 4 septa, 28 to 54 × 3.5 to 4 μm, and were produced in pycnidia located on the abaxial surface in the center of the leaf spots. The causal agent of this disease was successfully isolated by germinating the conidia on corn meal agar that was supplemented with streptomycin (50mg/ml) and chloramphenicol (300mg/ml) and followed with the transfer of the germinated conidia to potato dextrose agar. Leaf symptoms and morphology matched those of S. musiva, the cause of leaf spot and stem canker of hybrid poplars in North America (2,4). The internal transcribed spacers and the 5.8S portion of the rDNA were amplified using PCR with the ITS1 (5′-TCC GTA GGT GAA CCT GCG G-3′) and ITS2 (5′-GCT GCG TTC TTC ATC GAT GC-3′) primer pair on total genomic DNA extracted from a pure culture of the pathogen. The rDNA sequence obtained (GenBank Accession No. AY555277) had 100% identity at 506 base positions with the ITS1, 5.8S, and ITS2 of three S. musiva isolates from Québec and one from Wisconsin (GenBank Accession Nos. AY549464 to AY549467). To test for pathogenicity, excised leaf disks from plants propagated by softwood cuttings of the source plant and from one hybrid poplar clone (Populus maximowiczii × P. xjackii) were inoculated with 3 μl of a suspension of ground mycelium or sterile water (control). Disks were placed in a 24-well tissue culture plate with 1 ml of distilled water per well and incubated in a growth room maintained at 22°C with a 16-h photoperiod. After 1 month, symptoms were similar to those previously observed. Isolates collected from shining willow or hybrid poplar were able to induce S. musiva leaf spot symptoms on leaf disks excised from shining willow or the hybrid poplar clone. From symptomatic leaf disks, S. musiva was consistently reisolated. To our knowledge, this is the first report of S. musiva on a member of the genus Salix. S. didyma, S. salicicola, and S. salicina have been reported from leaves of species of Salix (1,3). Only a vague morphological description of S. didyma was found (3). Moreover, conidia of S. salicicola (20 to 50 × 2.5 to 3.5 μm) and S. salicina (40 to 60 μm long, unspecified width) overlap dimensions of S. musiva conidia (1). There is a need to reexamine the relationships between these species of Septoria. Evidently, the complete host range of S. musiva is not yet known.
References: (1) L. Lanier et al. Mycologie et Pathologie Forestières. Masson. Paris, 1978. (2) M. E. Ostry. Eur. J. For. Pathol. 17:158, 1987. (3) P. A. Saccardo. Sylloge fungurum omnium hucusque cognitorum. Patavii: Sumptibus Auctoris, 1882. (4) L. J. Spielman et al. Plant Dis. 70:968, 1986.