Z. Y. Wang,
S. N. Xie,
H. Y. Wu, and
M. Zhang, Henan Agriculture University, 95 Wenhua Road, Zhengzhou, Henan, 450002, China. These results were supported by the funds of No. 30870018 and 30970016.
Cynodon dactylon is widely cultivated as a sod crop in warm climates worldwide. In early September 2009, heavy leaf spot infection was observed on C. dactylon from Zhengzhou, Henan, China. Early symptoms appeared as small, elliptical, pale brown lesions on the leaves. Lesions later expanded to 5 to 10 mm long and 1 to 2 mm wide, becoming brown to dark brown. A fungus was consistently isolated from leaf spots on potato dextrose agar (PDA), but with poor sporulation. Morphological characteristics were observed from single-conidium cultures on tap water agar + wheat straw (TWA+W) after 5 to 7 days. Conidiophores were light to medium brown, cylindrical, solitary or clustered, unbranched, usually with basal cells enlarged, and 94.5 to 147.0 × 4.0 to 9.0 μm. Conidia were fusoid, strongly curved, end cells broadly hemiellipsoidal, brown, 58.5 to 84.5 × 13.5 to 18.5 μm, with 6 to 10 septa. These morphological characteristics are similar to those of Bipolaris peregianensis (2). The identity of our fungus was confirmed to be B. peregianensis by DNA sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region (GenBank Accession No. JQ316121), which was 99% homologous to those of other B. peregianensis isolates (= Cochliobolus peregianensis; Accession Nos AF071328 and AF158111) (1). Koch's postulates were performed with the leaves of three pots of C. dactylon. Leaves were sprayed with 1 × 105 conidia/ml of B. peregianensis; an equal number of leaves in the pots of the same plant sprayed with sterile distilled water served as the control. All test plants were covered with plastic bags for 24 h to maintain high relative humidity at 23 to 25°C. After 7 days, more than 50% of inoculated leaves showed symptoms identical to those observed in natural condition, whereas controls remained symptom free. Reisolation of the fungus from lesions on inoculated leaves confirmed that the causal agent was B. peregianensis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of leaf spots caused by B. peregianensis on C. dactylon in China. The disease cycle and the control strategies in the regions are being further studied.
References: (1) M. L. Berbee et al. Mycologia 91:964, 1999. (2) A. Sivanesan. Mycol. Pap. 158:1, 1987.