Daejung Golf Engineering Co. Ltd, Yongin, 449-881, Korea
Southern Forest Resource Research Center, Korea Forest Research Institute, Jinju, 660-300, Korea
Institute of Agriculture and Life Science, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, 660-701, Korea
Farfugium japonicum (L.) Kitam (common name: Leopard plant) is known as a medical herb and belongs to family Asteraceae (1). In June 2012, a leaf spot disease was observed on the leaf surface of F. japonicum at a forest research plot Jinju, Gyeongnam province, Korea. More than 95% of F. japonicum plants were infected and leaf spot symptom appeared in the regions under our investigation. Light brownish symptoms initially developed and the spot size gradually increased and turned dark brown with an irregular shape as the disease progressed (spot size 1 to 10 mm in diameter). At the late stage of disease, spots became hollow and completely dehydrated. The infected leaves were easily crumbled, possibly due to dryness. To isolate the causal agent, the infected leaves were surface disinfected and pieces of leaves were placed on water agar (WA). Nine isolates were isolated from 10 pieces of the infected leaves. Fungi mycelia from the WA were transferred on potato dextrose agar (PDA) and incubated at 28°C for 7 days. The colonies were purple navy to black and conidia spores developed on the media. The morphological characteristics of spores were multi-septate, dark brown, pyriform, and 6.7 to 12.8 × 22.2 to 38.4 μm. The spores had 1 to 4 transverse and 0 to 3 longitudinal septa. The morphological characteristics of the isolates showed considerably similar to well-known Alternaria tenuissima (2). The leaf spot disease caused by A. cinerariae of F. japonicum was reported from Japan (3). Spores of A. cinerariae are golden brown to brown with 3 to 9 transverse and 0 to 6 longitudinal septa and are 87.5 × 28.7 μm (avg.) (3). To verify pathogenicity of the isolate, the pure cultured fungi on the PDA medium was taken (4 mm in diameter) and placed on healthy leaves of Leopard plant. The artificially inoculated leaves were placed on wet filter paper in Petri dishes and incubated at 25°C and 80% humidity. At 7 days after inoculation, similar disease symptoms developed on 8 out of 10 infected Leopard plant leaves. The pathogen was reisolated from artificially infected leaves. To identify in molecular biology level, genomic DNA was extracted and the ITS-rDNA region was amplified using universal primers ITS1 and ITS4. The amplified PCR product was purified and sequenced (528 bp) with ITS1 and ITS4 primers for both directions and then deposited in GenBank (Accession No. KC415611.1). The BLAST search showed that it matched previously reported A. tenuissima with 100% identity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of Leopard plant leaf spot disease in Korea.
References: (1) E. Y. Kim et al. J. Ethnopharmacol. 146:40, 2013. (2) E. G. Simmons. Page 1 in: Alternaria Biology, Plant Diseases and Metabolites. J. Chelchowski and A. Visconti, eds. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1992. (3) T. Sakoda et al. Res. Bull. Pl. Prot. Japan 46:73, 2010.