W. L. Bruckart, III and
F. M. Eskandari, USDA, ARS, FDWSRU, Ft. Detrick, MD 21702;
E. M. Coombs, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Salem 97301;
A. Y. Rossman, USDA, ARS, SMML, Beltsville, MD 20705; and
M. E. Palm, USDA, APHIS, PPQ, Riverdale, MD 20737
Fallopia japonica (Houtt.) Ronse Decr. (= Polygonum cuspidatum Siebold & Zucc.; Japanese knotweed, JKW) is an invasive perennial forb in the Polygonaceae. It has been identified as a target for biological control in many parts of the world, including the United States. Several potted JKW plants in an outdoor study at the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Salem (44.93° N, 122.99° W) developed leaf spots. Samples collected on August 20, 2007, were sent to the FDWSRU for identification of the disease. The necrotic leaf spots were brown and large, 1 to 3 cm in diameter, and in some cases occupying 30% of the leaf area. Both hemispherical and discoid conidiomata with gloeoid spore masses (3) developed in necrotic areas of all leaves placed in moist chambers. Discoid conidiomata had dark, pedicellate bases subtending a fimbriate disc on which pale brown to brown gloeoid conidial masses were produced. Hemispherical conidiomata were black, circular, sessile, and somewhat flattened, within which similar, gloeoid conidial masses were produced. Conidia from each type of conidioma were unicellular, cylindrical to fusiform, hyaline, and 4.5 to 7.2 × 0.9 to 1.8 μm (mean 5.7 × 1.33). Artificial inoculation of 15 plants was made on two occasions with a suspension of 106 conidia per ml, followed by two 16-hr dew periods at 25°C that were separated by an 8-hr “day;” a similar set of 15 non-inoculated plants served as controls each time. Symptoms similar to those in the original sample developed within 2 months after inoculation. The fungus was easily reisolated, and conidia from each type of conidioma produced similar growth on artificial media and similar disease after inoculation. The characteristics of conidial size and distinctly different conidiomata are diagnostic of Pilidium concavum (Desm.) Höhn (3,4). A sequence of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region DNA, extracted using a DNeasy Plant Mini Kit (QIAGEN), was found identical to that of P. concavum from Rosa sp. (BPI 1107275; GenBank Accession No. AY487094), using BLAST. This isolate, FDWSRU 07-116, has been deposited in the US National Fungus Collection (BPI 883546) and at the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (CBS 132725). Sequence data have been deposited in GenBank (JQ790789). To our knowledge, this is the first report of P. concavum causing disease on a member of the Polygonaceae in North America (1), a disease clearly different from a Japanese Mycosphaerella sp. under consideration for biological control of JKW in the United Kingdom (2).
References: (1) D. F. Farr, and A. Y. Rossman. Fungal Databases, Systematic Mycology and Microbiology Laboratory, ARS, USDA. Retrieved from http://nt.ars-grin.gov/fungaldatabases/, May 15, 2012. (2) D. Kurose et al. MycoSci. 50:179, 2009. (3) M. E. Palm, Mycologia 83:787, 1991. (4) A. Y. Rossman, et al. Mycol. Progr. 3:275, 2004.