Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Av. San Martín 4453 (1417), Buenos Aires, Argentina
CETEFFHO-INTA-JICA, (1712), Castelar, Argentina
Facultad Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Ciudad Universitaria (1428), Buenos Aires, Argentina
During the spring of 2003, flower spots were observed on French hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla (Thunb.) DC) in CETEFFHO-INTA-JICA experimental greenhouses in Castelar, Argentina. Brown, irregular spots randomly distributed on petals were detected on an old, whiteflowering variety of unknown origin, cultivated by growers. Small pieces of diseased tissue were surface disinfested with 2% NaOCl, plated on 2% potato dextrose agar (PDA) with pH 7, and incubated at 22 to 24°C. Dense, whitish mycelium developed within 48 h and turned gray after 72 h. Conidia were ellipsoid, hyaline, nonseptate, and formed in botryose heads. Spores from 10-day-old colonies that were developed on PDA in test tubes were removed with 4 ml of sterile water per tube. Prior to inoculation, inflorescences were detached and placed in water-filled glass vases. To test pathogenicity, eight healthy inflorescences were sprayed with a 5-ml suspension (2 × 104 conidia per ml of sterile distilled water). Another eight healthy inflorescences were sprayed with sterile distilled water. The inflorescences were maintained at 21°C and covered with polyethylene bags that were removed after 3 days. Brown, circular-to-irregular spots appeared on petals 5 days after inoculation, became coalescent, and covered 50 to 60% of each inflorescence in 8 days. Gray mold consisting of black conidiophores and gray-in-mass conidia was observed 3 days after the development of the symptoms. Controls remained symptomless. The same pathogen was recovered from inoculated flowers and was identified as Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr. (1). To our knowledge, this is the first report of this fungus on Hydrangea macrophylla in Argentina.
Reference: (1) M. V. Ellis and J. M. Waller. Sclerotinia fuckeliana (condial state: Botrytis cinerea).No. 431 in: Descriptions of Pathogenic Fungi and Bacteria, CMI, Kew, Surrey, UK, 1974.