M. W. Marques,
N. B. Lima,
S. J. Michereff, and
M. P. S. Câmara, Departamento de Agronomia, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Recife, 52171-900, Pernambuco, Brazil; and
C. R. B. Souza, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, 66017-070, Pará, Brazil
From September to December 2010, mango (Mangifera indica L.) stems showing dieback symptoms were collected during a survey conducted in São Francisco Valley, northeastern Brazil. Small pieces (4 to 5 mm) of necrotic tissues were surface sterilized for 1 min in 1.5% NaOCl, washed twice with sterile distilled water, and plated onto potato dextrose agar (PDA) amended with 0.5 g liter–1 streptomycin sulfate. Plates were incubated at 25°C in the dark for 14 to 21 days and colonies that were morphologically similar to species of Botryosphaeriaceae were transferred to PDA. Colonies developed a compact mycelium that was initially white, but becoming gray dark after 4 to 6 days of incubation at 25°C in darkness. Identification was made using morphological characteristics and DNA based molecular techniques. Pycnidia were obtained on 2% water agar with sterilized pine needles as substratum after 3 weeks of incubation at 25°C under near-UV light. Pycnidia were large, multilocular, eustromatic, covered with hyphae; locule totally embedded without ostioles, locule walls consisting of a dark brown textura angularis, becoming thinner and hyaline toward the conidiogenous region. Conidia were hyaline, thin to slightly thickened walled, aseptate, with granular contents, bacilliform, straight to slightly curved, apex and base both bluntly rounded or just blunt, 15.6 to 25.0 (20.8) μm long, and 2.7 to 7.9 (5.2) μm wide, length/width = 4.00. According to these morphological characteristics, three isolates (CMM1364, CMM1365, and CMM1450) were identified as Pseudofusicoccum stromaticum (1,3,4). PCR amplification by universal primers (ITS4/ITS5) and DNA sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 rRNA gene cluster) were conducted to confirm the identifications through BLAST searches in GenBank. The isolates were 100% homologous with P. stromaticum (3) (GenBank Accession Nos. AY693974 and DQ436935). Representative sequences of the isolates were deposited in GenBank (Accession Nos. JF896432, JF966392, and JF966393). Pathogenicity tests were conducted with the P. stromaticum strains on 5-month-old mango seedlings (cv. Tommy Atkins). Mycelial plugs taken from the margin of actively growing colonies (PDA) of each isolate were applied in shallow wounds (0.4 cm in diameter) on the stem (center) of each plant. Inoculation wounds were wrapped with Parafilm. Control seedlings received sterile PDA plugs. Inoculated and control seedlings (five each) were kept in a greenhouse at 25 to 30°C. After 5 weeks, all inoculated seedlings showed leaf wilting, drying out of the branches, and necrotic lesions in the stems. No symptoms were observed in the control plants. P. stromaticum was successfully reisolated from symptomatic plants to fulfill Koch's postulates. P. stromaticum was described from Acacia, Eucalyptus, and Pinus trees in Venezuela (3,4), and there are no reports of this fungus in other hosts (2). To our knowledge, this is the first report of P. stromaticum causing mango dieback in Brazil and worldwide.
References: (1) P. W. Crous et al. Stud. Mycol. 55:235, 2006. (2) D. F. Farr and A. Y. Rossman. Fungal Databases. Systematic Mycology and Microbiology Laboratory, ARS, USDA. Retrieved from http://nt.ars-grin.gov/fungaldatabases/, 18 May 2011. (3) S. Mohali et al. Mycol. Res. 110:405, 2006. (4) S. R. Mohali et al. Fungal Divers. 25:103, 2007.