Section 67
Chapter 66,501

First Report of Pythium splendens Associated with Severe Wilt of Muskmelon (Cucumis melo) in Oman

Al-Sa'di, A.M.; Deadman, M.L.; Al-Said, F.A.; Khan, I.; Al-Azri, M.; Drenth, A.; Aitken, E.A.B.

Plant Disease 92(2): 313


ISSN/ISBN: 0191-2917
PMID: 30769416
Accession: 066500115

Muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) is one of the most important vegetable crops in Oman. In the fall of 2004, sudden wilt was observed in muskmelon grown in a field at Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat. The disease was characterized by rapid collapse of vines and muskmelon plants at the fruit production to maturation stage, associated with brown-to-dark brown rotted primary and secondary roots. The disease resulted in death of more than 85% of muskmelon plants in that field. On potato dextrose agar (PDA), with published methods (1), Pythium spp. were consistently isolated from crowns and roots of plants showing wilt symptoms. Further identification of five isolates of Pythium with sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of the ribosomal DNA (1) using ITS1 and ITS4 primers produced a nucleotide sequence 806 bp long, which was identical among all isolates. Comparison with sequences deposited at the National Center for Biotechnology Information revealed 100% nucleotide similarity to a previously published sequence (Accession No. DQ381808) of isolate P091 of P. splendens from cucumber from Oman, for which identification has also been confirmed by morphological characteristics. The sequence of one isolate of P. splendens (P222) was assigned GenBank Accession No. EF546436 and deposited at CBS under Accession No. CBS121855. In pathogenicity tests conducted in a greenhouse, P. splendens induced damping-off symptoms on 7-day-old muskmelon seedlings and also reproduced the same wilt symptoms observed in the field when 2-month-old muskmelon plants were inoculated with 3-day-old P. splendens grown in PDA. To our knowledge, this is the first report of association of P. splendens with wilt of muskmelon in Oman. Reference: (1) A. M. Al-Sa'di et al. Plant Pathol. 56:140, 2007.

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