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First Report of Powdery Mildew Caused by Oidium hortensiae on Mophead Hydrangea in Korea

July 2012 , Volume 96 , Number  7
Pages  1,072.1 - 1,072.1

M. J. Park, S. E. Cho, and J. H. Park, Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Korea; S. K. Lee, Division of Forest Diseases and Insect Pests, Korea Forest Research Institute, Seoul 130-712, Korea; and H. D. Shin, Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Korea

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Accepted for publication 24 April 2012.

Hydrangea macrophylla (Thunb.) Ser., known as mophead hydrangea, is native to Japan and is used as a potted ornamental or is planted for landscaping in gardens worldwide. In May 2011, powdery mildew occurred on potted mophead hydrangea cv. Emerald plants in polyethylene-film-covered greenhouses in Icheon, Korea. Heavily infected plantings were unmarketable, mainly due to purplish red discoloration and crinkling of leaves. Such powdery mildew symptoms on mophead hydrangea in gardens had been often found in Korea since 2001, and the collections (n = 10) were deposited in the Korea University herbarium (KUS). In all cases, there was no trace of chasmothecia formation. Mycelium was effuse on both sides of leaves, young stems, and flower petals. Appressoria were well developed, lobed, and solitary or in opposite pairs. Conidiophores were cylindrical, 70 to 145 × 7.5 to 10 μm, and composed of three to four cells. Foot-cells of conidiophores were straight to sub-straight, cylindric, short, and mostly less than 30 μm long. Conidia produced singly were ellipsoid to oval, 32 to 50 × 14 to 22 μm with a length/width ratio of 1.7 to 2.8, lacked fibrosin bodies, and showed angular/rectangular wrinkling of outer walls. Germ tubes were produced on the perihilar position of conidia. Primary conidia were apically conical, basally rounded to subtruncate, 32 to 42 × 14 to 18 μm, and thus generally smaller than the secondary conidia. The morphological characteristics are consistent with previous descriptions of Oidium hortensiae Jørst. (3,4). To confirm the identification, the complete internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of rDNA from KUS-F25514 was amplified with primers ITS5 and P3 and directly sequenced. The resulting sequence of 694 bp was deposited in GenBank (Accession No. JQ669944). There was no ITS sequence data known from powdery mildews on Hydrangea. Therefore, this is the first sequence of O. hortensiae submitted to GenBank. Nevertheless, a GenBank BLAST search of this sequence showed >99% similarity with those of Oidium spp. recorded on crassulacean hosts (e.g. GenBank Accession Nos. EU185641 ex Sedum, EU185636 ex Echeveria, and EU185639 ex Dudleya) (2), suggesting their close phylogenetic relationship. Pathogenicity was confirmed through inoculation by gently pressing diseased leaves onto leaves of five healthy potted mophead hydrangea cv. Emerald plants. Five noninoculated plants of the same cultivar served as controls. Plants were maintained in a greenhouse at 22 ± 2°C. Inoculated plants developed signs and symptoms after 6 days, whereas the control plants remained healthy. The fungus present on the inoculated plants was morphologically identical to that originally observed on diseased plants, fulfilling Koch's postulates. Occurrence of powdery mildew disease on mophead hydrangea is circumglobal (1). To our knowledge, this is the first report of powdery mildew disease caused by O. hortensiae on mophead hydrangea in Korea. Powdery mildew infections in Korea pose a serious threat to the continued production of quality potted mophead hydrangea in polyethylene-film-covered greenhouses.

References: (1) D. F. Farr and A. Y. Rossman. Fungal Databases, Systematic Mycology and Microbiology Laboratory, ARS, USDA. Retrieved March 19, 2012, from (2) B. Henricot. Plant Pathol. 57:779, 2008. (3) A. Schmidt and M. Scholler. Mycotaxon 115:287, 2011. (4) S. Tanda. J. Agric. Sci. Tokyo Univ. Agric. 43:253, 1999.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society