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First Report of Pythium recalcitrans Causing Cavity Spot of Carrot in Michigan

July 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  7
Pages  991.2 - 991.2

X. H. Lu, Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, China; and Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, 48824; and H. H. Jiang and J. J. Hao, Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, 48824

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Accepted for publication 11 February 2013.

During a survey of carrot (Daucus carota L.) cavity spot in Michigan in September 2010, carrot roots with typical cavity spot symptoms were collected from production fields in Fremont Co. The lesions were excised from infected roots, surface-disinfested with 0.62% NaClO for 3 min, rinsed in sterilized, distilled water three times, cut into 0.5 cm long pieces, and then plated on water agar (WA) amended with carbendazim (10 μg/ml), ampicillin (50 μg/ml), rifampicin (50 μg/ml), and pentachloronitrobenzene (10 μg/ml) (cumulatively referred to as CARP). Plates were incubated at 22 ± 1°C in the dark for 3 days. Pure cultures of the isolates were obtained by transferring a single hyphal tip of each colony to potato dextrose agar (PDA) amended with CARP. Among the 33 isolates obtained, M2-05 was identified as a Pythium sp. that differed from the known cavity spot pathogens of carrot. The isolate has spherical hyphal swellings but no other distinguishing morphological characteristics. M2-05 was further classified by analyzing the partial sequences of four genes: the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of ribosomal DNA, beta-tubulin (β-tub), cytochrome c oxidase subunit 2 (cox 2), and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (nadh 1) (1,3). A BLAST search of these sequences for M2-05 was conducted using the nucleotide database of GenBank, resulting in 100% similarity to all four sequenced genes of P. recalcitrans (2). The DNA sequences of M2-05 were deposited in GenBank (JQ734349, JQ734229, JQ734289, and JQ734409 for ITS, β-tub, cox 2, and nadh 1, respectively). Koch's postulates were conducted by inoculating mature carrot roots (cv. Nantindo) with mycelial plugs (4 mm in diameter) cut from the margin of actively growing colonies of M2-05 on PDA plates. Two mycelial plugs were placed on each carrot root at 3-cm intervals, with the mycelial side facing the root; and two non-colonized agar plugs were placed similarly for the non-inoculated control treatment. In comparison, carrot roots also were inoculated with an isolate of each of P. sulcatum and P. violae using the same method. There were four replicate carrot roots inoculated for each isolate and each of the control treatments. The inoculated roots were placed on a plastic grid (7 mm in height) in a closed plastic container, with moist paper towels underneath the grids. The container was incubated in the dark at 22 ± 1°C, and the roots were sprayed gently daily with sterilized, distilled water to maintain high humidity. Brown lesions were observed on all inoculated carrot roots 5 days after inoculation. The lesions measured 0.68 ± 0.48, 1.20 ± 0.71, and 0.56 ± 0.31 mm2 averaged over all eight lesions for the isolates of P. recalcitrans, P. sulcatum, and P. violae, respectively. Symptomatic tissues from the inoculated roots were excised and incubated on WA-CARP plates, and the culture from each lesion confirmed as the isolates inoculated using the same molecular methods described above. The carrot tissue under the control agar plugs remained symptomless, and no Pythium was recovered from the control roots. P. recalcitrans was described in 2008 as infecting roots of Beta vulgaris and Vitis vinifera (2). To our knowledge, this is the first published report of P. recalcitrans naturally infecting carrot roots, not only in Michigan, but anywhere in the world.

References: (1) L. Kroon et al. Fungal. Genet. Biol. 41:766, 2004. (2) E. Moralejo et al. Mycologia 100:310, 2008. (3) N. O. Villa et al. Mycologia 98:410, 2006.

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