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First Report of Lily Blight and Wilt Caused by Fusarium tricinctum in China

July 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  7
Pages  993.3 - 993.3

Y. Y. Li, Y. J. Wang, Z. K. Xie, R. Y. Wang, and Y. Qiu, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China; and H. Q. Pan and J. C. Hu, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China

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Accepted for publication 12 January 2013.

Lily (Lilium spp.) is one of the most well-known horticultural crops, and plays an important economic role in China. In September 2011, wilted plants were observed on Lilium oriental hybrid cultivar ‘Sorbonne’ growing in Longde County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China. Disease symptoms included wilting, stem and root rot, brown spots of bulbs and then bulbs rotting and spalling from the basal disc, plus a progressive yellowing and defoliation of the leaves from the base. Diseased plants were sampled from fields. Small pieces of symptomatic bulbs, stems, and roots from 10 different plants were surface disinfected with 75% ethanol for 30 s, 3% sodium hypochlorite for 5 min, and then washed three times in sterilize distilled water. The tissues were placed onto Martin Agar (2) at 25°C for 7 days. Nine isolates with morphology similar to Fusarium were obtained from the diseased tissues. Isolates were transferred to potato dextrose agar (PDA) and carnation leaf agar (CLA) and incubated at 25°C. Seven were identified as Fusarium oxysporum and one was F. solani, which have been reported as pathogens of lily in China (1). The other isolate, when grown on PDA, rapidly produced dense, white aerial mycelium that became pink with age and formed red pigments in the medium. On CLA, macroconidia with three to five septate were abundant, relatively slender, and curved to lunate. Microconidia were abundant, oval or pyriform, and one to two celled. Chlamydospores were in chains with smooth exine. The rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and a portion of the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (EF-1α) gene of the fungus were amplified, with universal primers ITS1/ITS4 and EF1/EF2 primers respectively (3) and sequenced. In addition, the β-tubulin gene (β-tub) of the fungus was amplified with modified primers Btu-F-F01 (5′-CAGACMGGTCAGTGCGTAA-3′) and Btu-F-R01 (5′-TCTTGGGGTCGAACATCTG-3′) (4). BLASTn analysis showed that the ITS sequences of the isolate (GenBank Accession No. JX989827) had 98.9% similarity with those of F. tricinctum (EF611092, JF776665, and HM776425) and the EF-1α sequences of the isolate (JX989828) had 98.1% similarity with those of F. tricinctum (EU744837 and JX397850). The β-tub sequences of the isolate (JX989829) had 99.0% similarity with those of F. tricinctum (EU490236 and AB587077). The isolate was tested for pathogenicity. Two-month-old ‘Sorbonne’ seedlings were inoculated by placing 5 ml of conidial suspension (about 106 conidia per ml) over the roots of plants in each pot. Control plants were treated with sterile water in the same way. Plants were placed in a greenhouse at 22 to 25°C with a 15-h photoperiod. There were eight plants per pot and three replicates for each treatment. After 3 weeks, 87.5% of the inoculated plants exhibited browning of the root tips, root rot, and yellowing of the leaves, while control plants were symptomless. The pathogen was reisolated from the infected roots and identified as F. tricinctum, thus fulfilling Koch's postulates. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Fusarium wilt of lily caused by F. tricinctum. This information will provide guidance for the control of lily wilt disease and add information useful for the production of lilies.

References: (1) C. Li and J. J. Li. Acta Phytopathol. Sin. (in Chinese) 26:192, 1995. (2) J. P. Martin. Soil Sci. 38:215, 1950. (3) K. O'Donnell et al. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 95:2044, 1998. (4) M. Watanabe et al. BMC Evol. Biol. 11:322. 2011.

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