Z.-B. Pan, and
J.-Y. Mo, Institute of Plant Protection, Guangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanning, Guangxi, 530007, China; and
P. Ning, Department of Biotechnology, Guangxi Agricultural Vocation-Technical College, Nanning, Guangxi, 530007, China; and
T. Hsiang, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada
Baphicacanthus cusia is a perennial herbaceous plant in the family Acanthaceae that is native to China, where it grows in warm temperate mountainous or hilly regions. It is commonly used as a Chinese herbal medicine. In March 2012, symptoms of leaf spot were observed on leaves of B. cusia in Long'an County, Guangxi, China, where this plant is extensively cultivated. Symptoms were initially small brown dots which developed into irregular to circular leaf spots. These spots enlarged and overlapped, extending until the 7- to 9-cm-long and 3- to 4-cm-wide leaves withered entirely, mostly within 2 months. On potato dextrose agar (PDA), the same fungus was cultured from 92% of 75 symptomatic leaf samples that had been surface sterilized in a 45-second dip in 0.1% mercuric chloride. Fungal structures were observed on diseased leaves: conidiophores (85 to 460 × 4 to 8 μm) were erect, brown, single or in clusters, and conidia (36 to 90 × 5 to 16 μm) were single or in chains of two to four, brown, cylindrical or obclavate, straight or slightly curved, with 3 to 18 pseudosepta and a conspicuous hilum. Three single-spore isolates were identified as Corynespora cassiicola (Berk & Curt.) Wei based on morphological and cultural characteristics (1). The rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of one isolate, ZY-1, was sequenced (GenBank Accession No. JX908713), and it showed 100% identity to C. cassiicola, GenBank FJ852716, an isolate from Micronesia cultured from Ipomoea batatas (2). Pathogenicity tests were performed with each of the three isolates by spraying conidial suspensions (5 × 104 conidia/ml) containing 0.1% Tween 20 onto the surfaces of leaves of 60-day-old, 20-cm tall plants. For each isolate, 30 leaves from five replicate plants were treated. Control plants were treated with sterilized water containing 0.1% Tween 20. All plants were incubated for 36 h at 25°C and 90% relative humidity in an artificial climate chamber, and then moved into a greenhouse. Seven days after inoculation, dark brown spots typical of field symptoms were observed on all inoculated leaves, but no symptoms were seen on water-treated control plants. Koch's postulates were fulfilled by reisolation of C. cassiicola from diseased leaves. To our knowledge, this is the first report of C. cassiicola infecting B. cusia worldwide.
References: (1) M. B. Ellis. Dematiaceous Hyphomycetes. Commonwealth Mycological Institute: Kew, Surrey, England, 1971. (2) L. J. Dixon et al. Phytopathology 99:1015, 2009.