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First Report of Neocosmospora striata Causing Peanut Pod Rot in China

January 2012 , Volume 96 , Number  1
Pages  146.2 - 146.2

W. M. Sun and L. N. Feng, Biological Control Center of Plant Diseases and Plant Pests of Hebei Province, College of Plant Protection, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding, 071000, Hebei, China; W. Guo, Biological Control Center of Plant Diseases and Plant Pests of Hebei Province, College of Life Sciences, Agricultural University of Hebei and the National Engineering Research Center for Agriculture in Northern Mountainous Areas, Baoding, 071000, Hebei, China; and D. Q. Liu, Z. H. Yang, L. F. Liu, L. X. Ran, and Q. F. Meng, Biological Control Center of Plant Diseases and Plant Pests of Hebei Province, College of Plant Protection, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding, 071000, Hebei, China

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Accepted for publication 16 September 2011.

In 2008, an outbreak of pod rot of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) occurred on most of the peanut cultivars in the Old Yellow River drainage area, the largest peanut-growing region in China. Disease incidence reached as high as 90% in some fields, causing severe yield losses. The black rot of pods and blackened, nonrotting taproots is similar to symptoms of peanut black rot caused by Cylindrocladium parasiticum, but the reddish orange perithecia of C. parasiticum were not found on the taproots close to the surface of the soil. The foliage of affected plants was generally asymptomatic, but some plants turned greener. This pod rot disease was further investigated in 2008 and 2010. Twenty-three Fusarium-like isolates were obtained from symptomatic, surface-disinfested pods with a frequency of 82%. These isolates were fast growing, with flat, thin, and grayish white colonies when cultured on potato dextrose agar (PDA) at 28°C for 3 to 4 days. The hyaline, elongated to cylindrical conidia, aggregated in slimy heads on conidiogenous cells developed from undifferentiated hyphae when observed with the light microscope. The size of conidia (single celled or one septum) varied from 3 to 9 μm long and 1.5 to 3.5 μm wide on the basis of the measurement of 50 spores. Some conidia appeared slightly curved. Ascomata formed within 10 to 14 days, with a punctate appearance on the colony. The cerebriform ascomata were dark brown, pyriform, ostiolate, glabrous, 120 to 170 × 90 to 130 μm, and with necks 30 to 50 μm long. Asci measured 60 to 90 × 6 to 10 μm, were cylindrical to cylindric-clavate, thin walled, and had an apical ring. Ascospore arrangement was obliquely uniseriate or partially biseriate, very pale yellow to hyaline, ellipsoidal, and measured 8 to 12 × 4.5 to 6 μm. Some spores had a median transverse straight or curved septum and were slightly constricted at the septum, with 6 to 10 thin, transverse, hyaline flanges. Morphological characteristics of the isolates with ascomata dark brown and ascospores with 6 to 10 transverse hyaline flanges matched the description for Neocosmospora striata (1). The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of rDNA was amplified from extracted template DNA with primer pairs ITS4/ITS5 and sequenced. A 591-bp amplicon (GenBank Accession No. HM461900) had 99% sequence identity with Fusarium solani (HQ607968 and HQ608009) and N. vasinfecta (GU213063), which indicated that these fungi belong to the genus Neocosmospora or Fusarium, although there is no direct sequence evidence that they are N. striata. N. striata has only been previously reported in Japan (2). This species is unique because of the dark brown ascomata and there is no comparable species (1). Koch's postulates were completed by surface-disinfesting 80 peanut pods of cv. Jihua 9813 and soaking them in conidial suspensions (105 conidia/ml) for 2 min. Another 80 other pods soaked in sterile water served as controls. All peanuts were incubated in moist petri dishes under darkness at 28°C. Symptoms similar to those originally observed in the field formed within 10 days on all inoculated peanut pods and not the controls. N. striata was reisolated from all affected peanut pods. To our knowledge, this is first report of N. striata causing peanut pod rot in China and the first description of the anamorph of the fungus.

References: (1) P. F. Cannon et al. Trans. Br. Mycol. Soc. 82:673, 1984. (2) S. Udagawa et al. Trans. Mycol. Soc. Jpn. 16:340, 1975.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society