Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Morelia, Michoacán México 58880
Colegio de Postgraduados, Montecillo, México 56230
Instituto de Recursos Genéticos y Productividad Especialidad de Fruticultura, Colegio de Postgraduados, Montecillo, México 56230
During August 2005, wilted cucumber (Cucumis sativus cv. Tasty Green) plants were observed in a commercial greenhouse with a closed hydroponic system in the state of Mexico. Disease incidence was 50%. Diseased plants were detected 15 days after transplanting, when plants were overwatered. Yield was severely reduced when disease affected mature plants. Wilted plants showed basal stem lesions and root rot. Phytophthora capsici was consistently isolated from diseased tissue on corn meal agar (CMA) with tartaric acid. Oomycete identification was based on sporangial and gametangial characteristics (2). Sporangia produced on blocks of CMA at 25°C were spherical, broadly ellipsoid or obovoid with one papillae, and deciduous with a long pedicel (1). The isolates were heterothallic, and oogonia with amphigynous antheridia were observed in pairings with an A1 isolate of P. capsici, therefore, the isolates were determined to be an A2. Pathogenicity tests were conducted on 2-month-old cucumber seedlings under controlled conditions (25°C). Inoculation was performed by placing small pieces of agar with mycelium of 5- to 7-day-old cultures on the stem base and wrapping with Parafilm. Control plants were inoculated with CMA agar. No symptoms were observed on the control. Plants inoculated with the P. capsici isolated from the diseased cucumbers showed a basal stem lesion, followed by wilting and death 7 to 14 days after inoculation. The isolate was also pathogenic on tomato and eggplant that were grown at the same time in the commercial greenhouse sharing the nutrient solution. P. capsici sporangia were observed on the roots of both hosts. To our knowledge, this is the first report of P. capsici affecting cucumber in a hydroponics system in Mexico.
References: (1) M. Aragaki and J. Y. Uchida. Mycologia 93:137, 2001. (2) D. C. Erwin and O. K. Ribeiro. Phytophthora Diseases Worldwide. The American Phytopathological Society. St. Paul MN, 1996.