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First Report of a Chaetomella sp. Causing a Leaf Spot on Sansevieria trifasciata in China

July 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  7
Pages  992.2 - 992.2

Y. L. Li, College of Forest Resources and Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, 210037, China; and College of Forestry, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang, 471003, China; Z. Zhou and W. Lu, College of Forestry, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang, 471003, China; and J. R. Ye, College of Forest Resources and Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, 210037, China

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Accepted for publication 19 February 2013.

Sansevieria trifasciata originates from tropical West Africa. It is widely planted as a potted ornamental in China for improving indoor air quality (1). In February 2011, leaves of S. trifasciata plants in an ornamental market of Anle, Luoyang City, China, were observed with sunken brown lesions up to 20 mm in diameter, and with black pycnidia present in the lesions. One hundred potted plants were examined, with disease incidence at 20%. The symptomatic leaves affected the ornamental value of the plants. A section of leaf tissue from the periphery of two lesions from a plant was cut into 1 cm2 pieces, soaked in 70% ethanol for 30 s, sterilized with 0.1% HgCl2 for 2 min, then washed five times in sterilized distilled water. The pieces were incubated at 28°C on potato dextrose agar (PDA). Colonies of two isolates were brown with submerged hyphae, and aerial mycelium was rare. Abundant and scattered pycnidia were reniform, dark brown, and 200 to 350 × 100 to 250 μm. There were two types of setae on the pycnidia: 1) dark brown setae with inward curved tops, and 2) straight, brown setae. Conidia were hyaline, unicellular, cylindrical, and 3.75 to 6.25 × 1.25 to 2.50 μm. Morphological characteristics suggested the two fungal isolates were a Chaetomella sp. To confirm pathogenicity, six mature leaves of a potted S. trifasciata plant were wounded with a sterile pin after wiping each leaf surface with 70% ethanol and washing each leaf with sterilized distilled water three times. A 0.5 cm mycelial disk cut from the margin of a 5-day-old colony on a PDA plate was placed on each pin-wounded leaf, ensuring that the mycelium was in contact with the wound. Non-colonized PDA discs were placed on pin-wounded leaves as the control treatment. Each of two fungal isolates was inoculated on two leaves, and the control treatment was done similarly on two leaves. The inoculated plant was placed in a growth chamber at 28°C with 80% relative humidity. After 7 days, inoculated leaves produced brown lesions with black pycnidia, but no symptoms developed on the control leaves. A Chaetomella sp. was reisolated from the lesions of inoculated leaves, but not from the control leaves. An additional two potted plants were inoculated using the same methods as replications of the experiment, with identical results. To confirm the fungal identification, the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of rDNA of the two isolates was amplified using primers ITS1 and ITS4 (2) and sequenced. The sequences were identical (GenBank Accession No. KC515097) and exhibited 99% nucleotide identity to the ITS sequence of an isolate of Chaetomella sp. in GenBank (AJ301961). To our knowledge, this is the first report of a leaf spot of S. trifasciata caused by Chaetomella sp. in China as well as anywhere in the world.

References: (1) X. Z. Guo et al. Subtropical Crops Commun. Zhejiang 27:9, 2005. (2) T. J. White et al. PCR Protocols: A Guide to Methods and Applications. M. A. Innis et al., eds. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 1990.

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