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  • Author or Editor: Ryan S. Donahoo x
  • HortScience x
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Species of Phytophthora are ubiquitous in ornamental production resulting in significant crop losses. In Tennessee, national surveys for the sudden oak death pathogen Phytophthora ramorum in 2004 and 2005 led to the isolation of Phytophthora species causing disease in nursery-grown or handled woody ornamentals or both. Isolates recovered were identified to species using direct sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer and examination of morphological characters. Six known species (P. cactorum, P. citricola, P. citrophthora, P. nicotianae, P. palmivora, P. tropicalis) and one newly described species (P. foliorum) were recovered from ericaceous hosts. The most common species recovered were P. citricola and P. citrophthora. Genetic analysis using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers revealed intraspecific genotypic diversity as well as isolates with identical AFLP genotypes from multiple locations across multiple years. This work provides evidence for species and genotypic diversity of Phytophthora recovered in Tennessee as well as insight into the movement of individual genotypes in woody ornamental production.

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Phytophthora capsici is an aggressive pathogen that is distributed worldwide with a broad host range infecting solanaceous, fabaceous, and cucurbitaceous crops. Over the past two decades, increased incidence of Phytophthora blight, particularly in eastern states, has threatened production of many vegetable crops. Cucumis melo L. (honeydew and muskmelon), although especially susceptible to fruit rot, is also highly susceptible to crown rot. Currently, little is known about host resistance to P. capsici in C. melo. To assess crown rot resistance in C. melo seedlings, 308 U.S. PIs, and two commercial cultivars (Athena and Dinero) were grown under greenhouse conditions. Seedlings with three to four true leaves were inoculated with a five-isolate zoospore suspension (1 × 104 zoospores per seedling) at the crown and monitored for 6 weeks. All the susceptible control plants of Athena died within 7 days post-inoculation. The majority of the PIs (281 of 308) were highly susceptible to crown rot and succumbed to the disease rapidly and had less than 20% of the plants survive. Several PIs (PI 181748, PI 182964, and PI 273438) succumbed to crown rot earlier than the susceptible melon cultivars. Eighty-seven PIs selected on the basis of the first screen were re-evaluated and of these PIs, 44 were less susceptible than cultivars Athena and Dinero. Twenty-five of the 87 PIs were evaluated again and of these six PI, greater than 80% of the plants survived in the two evaluations. Disease development was significantly slower on these PIs compared with the susceptible checks. High levels of resistance in S1 plants of PI 420180, PI 176936, and PI 176940 were observed, which suggests that development of resistant germplasm for use in breeding programs can be accomplished. Further screening and careful selection within each of these PIs can provide a framework for the development of resistant germplasm for use in breeding programs.

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Late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans, affects tomatoes and potatoes in Florida during the winter–spring crop season. During the 2005 season, severe late blight epidemics were observed in Florida prompting our survey. Isolates from 2005 to 2007 were characterized phenotypically based on growth on three media, mating type, pathogenicity, and sensitivity to metalaxyl and genotypically based on two isozymes, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and genomic profiling using the RG57 probe. Isolates collected in this survey were all A2, mtDNA Ia, and either 100/100 (2005), or 100/122 (2006/2007) at the Gpi locus, and homozygous 100 at the Pep locus. Novel genotypes infecting tomato in Florida were observed based on the Gpi locus and RG57 genomic profile. We propose US-20 for the collection of clonal isolates recovered during the 2005 season and US-21 for clones recovered during 2006 and 2007. In addition to these novel genotypes recovered from tomato, one isolate was recovered from potato representing the US-8 clonal lineage. The findings of the survey in south Florida and their implications are presented.

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