In March 2013, 90% of mature bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris L. cv. Kendo) grown on a commercial farm in the north of Oman (Barka) developed symptoms of root rot and necrotic streaks on the crown area of the stem and wilted. A Pythium spp. was isolated consistently from roots and basal stems on 2.5% potato dextrose agar (PDA) and V8 (100% vegetable juice) plus 1.5% agar technical. Colonies of Pythium spp. on PDA and V8 plus agar developed abundant aerial mycelia, with the main hyphae being up to 10 μm wide. Zoosporangia were made up of terminal complexes of swollen hyphal branches of different lengths and up to 22 μm wide. Oogonia were terminal, globose, and smooth with a 26-μm diameter (average of 20). Antheridia were mostly intercalary, sometimes terminal, and broadly sac-shaped, 15 μm long and 11 μm wide (average of 20). Oospores were aplerotic, 23 μm in diameter (average of 24), with walls 1 to 2 μm thick at 25°C (ambient temperature). The internal transcribed spacer of the ribosomal DNA (ITS1 and ITS4) sequence of the isolates matched the sequence of Pythium aphanidermatum (Edson) Fitzp. in GenBank. The sequence of isolate Py1 was deposited in GenBank as Accession No. KM102739. This isolate was identified as P. aphanidermatum on the basis of morphological and cultural characteristics (1) and the ITS rDNA sequence. The ITS was found to share 100% nucleotide similarity to previously published sequences of the ITS (KJ755088). To fulfill Koch's postulate, a 5-mm plug of 5-day-old mycelium of isolate Py1 grown on 2.5% PDA was used to inoculate healthy seedlings of beans cv. Kendo. The plug was placed adjacent to the bean stem; PDA served as a control. Five replicate plants were used for the treatment and the control. The plants were maintained in a glasshouse at a temperature of 23 to 25°C. The plants were watered every day. The irrigation water had an electrical conductivity value of 0.2 dSm−1. Eleven days after inoculation, 90% of the plants developed root rot, crown necrosis, and wilt symptoms similar to those observed in the field. On the other hand, control plants did not show any symptoms. The pathogen was re-isolated from roots and basal stems of symptomatic plants. To our knowledge, this is the first report of P. aphanidermatum as the causal agent of root and crown necrosis of mature bean plants in Oman. Future studies should focus on evaluating management options for this disease to avoid possible losses in a crop that has a high export value in Oman.
Reference: (1) Y. Serrano et al. Plant Dis. 92:174, 2008.