S. E. Cho,
M. J. Park, Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Korea;
C. H. Shin, Research Institute for Hallasan, Jeju 690-816, Korea; and
H. D. Shin, Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Korea
Farfugium japonicum (L.) Kitam., known as Japanese silver leaf, is native to Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. It is grown as an ornamental plant for garden plantings and containers not only in East Asia but more recently also in Europe and North America. Since 2003, powdery mildew infections of F. japonicum ‘Gigantea’ have been consistently found in the southern part of Korea, including the districts of Jeju, Seogwipo, Busan, Wando, and Ulleungdo. Specimens have been deposited in the Korea University Herbarium (KUS). Signs of powdery mildew first appeared as circular to irregular white patches on both sides of the leaves. The infections were usually severe on young leaves and caused malformation and browning. Appressoria on the mycelium were nipple-shaped or nearly absent. Conidiophores, measuring 160 to 280 × 10 to 12.5 μm, were simple and produced 2 to 12 immature conidia in chains, followed by 2 to 3 cells. Foot-cells in conidiophores were relatively short, 50 to 95 μm long, and constricted at the base. Conidia were hyaline, ellipsoid to ovate, 32 to 48 × 17.5 to 25 μm (length/width ratio = 1.4 to 2.3), had distinct fibrosin bodies, and produced germ tubes on the lateral position. No chasmothecia were observed. The morphology and dimentions of reproductive structures were compatible with those of Podosphaera xanthii (Castagne) U. Braun & Shishkoff (1). To confirm the identity of the causal fungus, the complete ITS region of rDNA from isolate KUS-F26469 was amplified with primers ITS5 and P3 (4) and directly sequenced. The resulting sequence of 475 bp was deposited in GenBank (Accession No. KC155426). A GenBank BLAST search of this sequence revealed 100% identity (475/475 bp) with those of many P. fusca isolates on plants in the Aster family plants including Calendula officinalis, Euryops pectinatus, Syneilesis palmata, and F. japonicum from Japan (e.g., AB040346). The P. fusca isolates listed above are now placed in P. xanthii (1). Pathogenicity was confirmed through inoculation by gently pressing diseased leaves onto leaves of three healthy potted plants of the same cultivar. Three non-inoculated plants served as controls. Plants were maintained in a greenhouse at 25 ± 2°C. Inoculated plants developed typical signs and symptoms of powdery mildew after 8 days, whereas the control plants remained symptomless. The fungus present on the inoculated leaves was morphologically identical to that originally observed on diseased plants. Powdery mildew infections of F. japonicum caused by P. fusca (syn. P. fuliginea) have been reported previously in both Japan and Korea (2). In Korea, it was listed simply as a host fungus of Ampelomyces quisqualis, which is hyperparasitic to powdery midlews, without any data on its identity (3). To our knowledge, this is the first confirmed report of powdery mildew caused by P. xanthii on F. japonicum in Korea.
References: (1) U. Braun and R. T. A. Cook. Taxonomic Manual of the Erysiphales (Powdery Mildews), CBS Biodiversity Series No.11. CBS, Utrecht, 2012. (2) D. F. Farr and A. Y. Rossman. Fungal Databases. Syst. Mycol. Microbiol. Lab., Online publication, ARS, USDA, Retrieved November 14, 2012. (3) M. J. Park et al. Fungal Biol. 114:235, 2010. (4) S. Takamatsu et al. Mycol. Res. 113:117, 2009.