A. Nasehi and
J. B. Kadir, Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia;
M. Nasr Esfahani, Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center, Isfahan, Iran; and
F. Abed Ashtiani, and
E. Golkhandan, Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
In 2011, a severe gray leaf spot was observed on eggplant (Solanum melongena) in major eggplant growing areas in Malaysia, including the Pahang, Johor, and Selangor states. Disease incidence was >70% in severely infected areas of about 150 ha of eggplant greenhouses and fields examined. Symptoms initially appeared as small (1 to 5 mm diameter), brownish-black specks with concentric circles on the lower leaves. The specks then coalesced and developed into greyish-brown, necrotic lesions, which also appeared on the upper leaves. Eventually, the leaves senesced and were shed. Tissue cut from the edges of leaf spots were surface-sterilized in 1% NaOCl for 2 min, rinsed in sterilized water, dried, and incubated on potato dextrose agar (PDA). Fungal colonies were greyish green to light brown, and produced a yellow pigment. Single, muriform, brown, oblong conidia formed at the terminal end of each conidiophore, were each 21.6 to 45.6 μm long and 11.5 to 21.6 μm wide, and contained 2 to 7 transverse and 1 to 4 longitudinal septa. The conidiophores were tan to light brown and ≤220 μm long. Based on these morphological criteria, 25 isolates of the fungus were identified as Stemphylium solani (1). To produce conidia in culture, 7-day-old single-conidial cultures were established on potato carrot agar (PCA) and V8 juice agar media under an 8-h/16-h light/dark photoperiod at 25°C (4). Further confirmation of the identification was obtained by molecular characterization in which fungal DNA was extracted and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of ribosomal DNA amplified using primers ITS5 and ITS4 (2), followed by direct sequencing. A BLAST search in the NCBI database revealed that the sequence was 99% identical with published ITS sequences for two isolates of S. solani (Accession Nos. AF203451 and HQ840713). The amplified ITS region was deposited in GenBank (JQ736023). Pathogenicity testing of a representative isolate was performed on detached, 45-day-old eggplant leaves of the cv. 125066-X under laboratory conditions. Four fully expanded leaves (one wounded and two non-wounded leaflets/leaf) were placed on moist filter paper in petri dishes, and each leaflet inoculated with a 20-μl drop of a conidial suspension containing 1 × 105 conidia/ml in sterilized, distilled water (3). The leaves were wounded by applying pressure to leaf blades with the serrated edge of forceps. Four control leaves were inoculated similarly with sterilized, distilled water. Inoculated leaves were incubated in humid chambers at 25°C with 95% RH and a 12-h photoperiod. After 7 days, symptoms similar to those observed in the original fields developed on both wounded and non-wounded inoculated leaves, but not on control leaves, and S. solani was reisolated consistently from the symptoms using the same method as the original isolations. Control leaves remained asymptomatic and the fungus was not isolated from these leaves. The pathogenicity testing was repeated with similar results. To our knowledge, this is the first report of S. solani on eggplant in Malaysia.
References: (1) B. S. Kim et al. Plant Pathol. J. 20:85, 2004. (2) Y. R. Mehta et al. Curr. Microbiol. 44:323, 2002. (3) B. M. Pryor and T. J. Michailides. Phytopathology 92:406, 2002. (4) E. G. Simmons. CBS Biodiv. Series 6:775, 2007.