I. H. Al Mahmooli, Department of Crop Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 34, Al Khod 123, Sultanate of Oman;
F. Al Balushi, Royal Court Affairs, P.O. Box 17, Muscat 111, Sultanate of Oman;
O. Doyle, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Ireland; and
A. M. Al Sadi and
M. L. Deadman, Department of Crop Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 34, Al Khod 123, Sultanate of Oman
Hybrid gladiolus varieties have potential as a major ornamental crop in Oman. Grown for the cut-flower industry, their production has increased significantly in recent years. In 2010, during a field trial of two hybrid varieties (Red Majesty and Mascagni) grown in sandy soil at Al Moballah, Muscat, approximately 3% of Red Majesty plants and 12% of Mascagni plants showed signs of wilting and yellowing prior to plant death. In all cases, tissue taken from 20 diseased corms yielded Fusarium-like colonies on potato dextrose agar (PDA). Colonies were light to dark purple in color with dense and abundant aerial mycelium; macroconidia were 33.8 × 4.8 μm with 3 to 5 septa per spore; microconidia were 13.5 × 4.8 μm with 0 to 1 septa per spore and were in chains (mean of 50 spores in both cases). No chlamydospores were observed. In vitro characters and spore measurements conformed to previously described features of Fusarium proliferatum (Matsushima) Nirenberg (2). Mycelial plugs (5 mm in diameter) were taken from 5-day-old cultures of F. proliferatum grown on 2.5% PDA and wrapped on the base of Gladiolus corms using Parafilm and wet cotton. The Parafilm was removed after 7 days of inoculation. The corms were kept in moistened polythene bags for and symptoms were recorded. Control corms were inoculated using PDA (1). Artificial inoculations resulted in rot symptoms on all corms within 14 days and fungal colonies identical to initial isolations were recovered from artificially infected corms. Rotting was not observed in corms inoculated using PDA alone. Identification of F. proliferatum was confirmed using sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of the ribosomal DNA (ITS1 and ITS4 primers) and sequences of the translation elongation factor alpha (TEF-1) gene (EF-1-986 and EF-728 primers). The ITS and TEF-1 sequences were found to share 99.8% and 99.6% nucleotide similarity to previously published sequences of the ITS (HQ113948) and EF (JN092351) regions of F. proliferatum in GenBank, respectively. The ITS sequence of one isolate was assigned GenBank Accession No. JN86006. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the occurrence of F. proliferatum in Oman or in the Arabian Peninsula.
References: (1) C. Linfield. Ann. Appl. Biol. 121:175, 1983. (2) P. E. Nelson et al. Fusarium Species: An Illustrated Manual for Identification. Pennsylvania State University Press, USA, 1983.