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First Report of Phoma herbarum on Tedera (Bituminaria bituminosa var. albomarginata) in Australia

May 2012 , Volume 96 , Number  5
Pages  769.1 - 769.1

Y. P. Li, School of Plant Biology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley W.A. 6009 Australia; D. G. Wright, V. Lanoiselet, C. P. Wang, N. Eyres, and D. Real, Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, Baron-Hay Court, South Perth, W.A. 6151, Australia; and M. P. You and M. J. Barbetti, School of Plant Biology and The UWA Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, W.A. 6009, Australia

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Accepted for publication 17 February 2012.

Tedera (Bituminaria bituminosa (L.) C.H. Stirton var. albomarginata) has been successfully established across the mixed-farming (wheat-sheep) region of Western Australia because this species has remarkable drought tolerance and can survive the dry-summer period with strong retention of green leaf. A leaf spot symptom involving pale brown lesions with distinct dark brown margins had been observed in genetic evaluation plots of tedera at Medina and Mount Barker, Western Australia, and a Phoma sp. was isolated. Single-spore isolations of a typical Phoma sp. isolate were made onto potato dextrose agar and maintained at 20°C, and a representative culture has been lodged in the Western Australian Culture Collection Herbarium maintained at the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (Accession No. WAC13435). Amplification of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) 1 and ITS2 regions flanking the 5.8S rRNA gene were carried out with universal primers ITS1 and ITS4 according to published protocol (3). The DNA PCR products were sequenced and BLAST analyses was used to compare sequences with those in GenBank. The sequence had 99% nucleotide identity with the corresponding sequence in GenBank for Phoma herbarum. Isolates also showed morphological (e.g., 1) and molecular (e.g., 2) similarities with P. herbarum as described in other reports. The relevant sequence information for a representative isolate has been lodged in GenBank (Accession No. JQ282910). A conidial suspension of 107 conidia ml–1 from a single-spore culture was spray inoculated onto foliage of 6-week-old tedera plants maintained under >90% relative humidity conditions for 72-h postinoculation. Symptoms evident by 10 days postinoculation consisted of pale brown lesions, mostly 1.5 to 4 mm in diameter, which developed a distinct, dark brown margin. Occasional lesions also showed a distinct chlorotic halo extending 1 to 1.5 mm outside the boundary of the lesion. Infection studies were successfully repeated twice and P. herbarum was readily reisolated from infected foliage. No disease was observed on and no P. herbarum were isolated from water-inoculated control plants. Except for a recent published report of P. herbarum on field pea (Pisum sativum L.) (2), this pathogen has only been noted in the Australian Plant Pest Database as occurring on lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) in Western Australia in 1985 and on a Protea sp. in 1991. To our knowledge, this is the first published report of P. herbarum as a pathogen on tedera in Australia or elsewhere. That P. herbarum occurs on other hosts in Australia and has a wide host range elsewhere together suggest its potential to be a pathogen on a wider range of host genera and species.

References: (1) G. L. Kinsey. No. 1501 in: IMI Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria. 2002. (2) Y. P. Li et al. Plant Dis. 95:1590, 2011. (3) T. J. White et al. Page 315 in: PCR Protocols: A Guide to Methods and Applications. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 1990.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society