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
N. Soleimani, Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
In June 2011, lettuce (Lactuca sativa) plants cultivated in major lettuce growing areas in Malaysia, including the Pahang and Johor states, had extensive leaf spots. In severe cases, disease incidence was recorded more than 80%. Symptoms on 50 observed plants initially were as water soaked spots (1 to 2 mm in diameter) on leaves, and then became circular spots spreading over much of the leaves. In this research, main lettuce growing areas infected by the pathogen in the mentioned states were investigated and the pathogen was isolated onto potato dextrose agar (PDA). Colonies observed were greyish green to light brown. Single conidia were formed at the terminal end of conidiophores that were 28.8 to 40.8 μm long and 11.0 to 19.2 μm wide, and 2 to 7 transverse and 1 to 4 longitudinal septa. To produce conidia, the fungus was grown on potato carrot agar (PCA) and V8 juice agar media under 8-h/16-h light/dark photoperiod. Fourteen isolates were identified Stemphylium solani based on morphological criteria described by Kim et al. (1). To confirm morphological characterization, DNA of the fungus was extracted from mycelium and PCR was done using universal primers ITS5 (5′-GGAAGTAAAAGTCGTAACAAGG-3′) and ITS4 (5′-TCCTCCGCTTATTGATATGC-3′), which amplified the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of rDNA (2). The sequencing result was subjected to BLAST analysis which was 99% identical to the other published sequences in the GenBank database (GenBank Accession Nos. AF203451 and HQ840713). The nucleotide sequence was deposited in GenBank under Accession No. JQ736022. Pathogenicity testing of representative isolate was done using 20 μl of conidial suspension with a concentration of 1 × 105/ml in droplets (three drops on each leaf) on four detached 45-day-old lettuce leaves cv. BBS012 (3). Fully expended leaves were placed on moist filter paper in petri dishes and were incubated in humid chambers at 25°C. The leaves inoculated with sterile water served as control. After 7 days, disease symptoms were observed, which were similar to those symptoms collected in infected fields and the fungus was reisolated and confirmed as S. solani based on morphological criteria (1) and molecular characterization (2). Control leaves remained healthy. Pathogenicity testing was completed twice. To our knowledge, this is the first report of S. solani on lettuce in Malaysia and it may become a serious problem because of its broad host range, variability in pathogenic isolates, and prolonged active phase of the disease cycle. Previous research has shown that S. solani is a causal agent of gray leaf spot on lettuce in China (4).
References: (1) B. S. Kim et al. Plant Pathol. J. 20:85, 2004. (2) Y. R. Mehta et al. Current Microbiol. 44:323, 2002. (3) B. M. Pryor and T. J. Michailides. Phytopathology 92:406, 2002. (4) F. L. Tai. Sylloge Fungorum Sinicorum, Sci. Press, Acad. Sin., Peking, 1979.