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First Report of Peach Brown Rot Caused by Monilinia fructicola in Central and Western China

September 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  9
Pages  1,255.3 - 1,255.3

L. F. Yin, S. N. Chen, and N. N. Yuan, Department of Plant Pathology, College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China; L. X. Zhai, Kunming Sijiqing Pesticide Co., Ltd., Kunming, 655000, China; and G. Q. Li and C. X. Luo, Department of Plant Pathology, College of Plant Science and Technology and the Key Lab of Crop Disease Monitoring and Safety Control in Hubei Province, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China

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Accepted for publication 12 April 2013.

Brown rot of peach (Prunus persica) in China has been reported to be caused by at least three Monilinia species (1). In the present study, peaches with symptoms resembling brown rot caused by Monilinia species were collected from commercial orchards in the northwestern province of Gansu in August 2010, the southwestern province of Yunnan in July 2011, and in the central province of Hubei in July 2012. Affected fruit showed the typical symptoms of brown rot with zones of sporulation. Fungal isolates were single-spored and cultured on potato dextrose agar (PDA). Colonies showed grayness with concentric rings of sporulation after incubation at 25°C in the dark. Mean mycelial growth of isolates YHC11-1a and YHC11-2a from Yunnan, GTC10-1a and GTC10-2a from Gansu, and HWC12-14a and HWC12-23a from Hubei, was 4.6 ± 0.4 and 7.5 ± 0.7 cm after 3 and 5 days incubation, respectively. Conidia were lemon shaped and formed in branched monilioid chains, and the mean size was 9.3 (6.7 to 11.5) × 12.5 (7.9 to 17.8) μm, which was consistent with the characteristics of Monilinia fructicola (1,2). The species identification was confirmed by sequencing of the ribosomal ITS sequences. The ribosomal ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region was amplified from each of the six isolates using primers ITS1 and ITS4 (3). Results indicated that the ITS sequences of these isolates were identical and showed the highest similarity (100%) with M. fructicola ITS sequences from isolates collected in China (GenBank Accession Nos. HQ893748, FJ515894, and AM887528), Slovenia (GU967379), Italy (FJ411109), and Spain (EF207423). The pathogen was also confirmed to be M. fructicola based on the detection of an M. fructicola- specific band (534 bp) using a PCR-based molecular tool developed for distinguishing Chinese Monilinia species affecting peach (1). Pathogenicity was tested on surface-sterilized, mature peaches (Shui Mi Tao) with representative isolates. Fruits were holed at three equidistant positions to a depth of 5 mm using a sterile cork borer. Mycelial plugs (5 mm in diameter) from the periphery of a 4-day-old colony of each isolate were placed upside down into each hole, control fruits received water agar. After 3 days of incubation at 22°C in a moist chamber, inoculated fruits developed typical brown rot symptoms while control fruits remained healthy. Pathogens from the inoculated fruit were confirmed to be M. fructicola based on morphological characteristics. To our knowledge, this is the first report of occurrence of M. fructicola in Gansu, Yunnan, and Hubei provinces, thousands of kilometers away from eastern China where occurrence of peach brown rot caused by M. fructicola has been confirmed (2,4). The results indicated the further geographical spread of the M. fructicola in China.

References: (1) M. J. Hu et al. Plos One 6(9):e24990, 2011. (2) M. J. Hu et al. Plant Dis. 95:225, 2011. (3) T. J. White et al. Amplification and direct sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA genes for phylogenetics. Academic Press, San Diego, 1990. (4) X. Q. Zhu et al. Plant Pathol. 54:575, 2005.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society