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First Report of Stem and Crown Rot of Garbanzo Caused by Sclerotinia minor in the United States and by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in Arizona



First Report of Stem and Crown Rot of Garbanzo Caused by Sclerotinia minor in the United States and by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in Arizona



Plant Disease 84(11): 1250



In March 2000, plants began to die within two garbanzo (Cicer arietinum L.) fields about 48 km apart in southwestern Arizona. Initial symptoms included wilting of leaves and stem necrosis on individual branches, followed by entire plant necrosis and death. White mycelium was present on plant stems near the soil surface. In one field, small black irregularly shaped sclerotia (1 mm in diameter) were present on the infected stem surface along with the white mycelia, whereas in the other field the associated sclerotia were of similar shape but larger (5 to 6 mm in diameter). Isolation from diseased garbanzo stem tissue from the respective fields yielded Sclerotinia minor, which produced small sclerotia when cultured on potato-dextrose agar and S. sclerotiorum, which produced the typical larger sclerotia of this species. To fulfill Koch's postulates, healthy plants and associated soil from a garbanzo field with no evidence of infection by Sclerotinia were removed with a shovel and transferred into a series of 8-liter plastic pots. After transporting back to the laboratory, some of the plants were inoculated by wounding stems with a 5-mm-diameter cork borer, placing an agar disk containing either S. minor or S. sclerotiorum onto each wound, securing the agar disk to the stem with plastic tape, then incubating the plants at 25°C for 7 days. Control plants were treated similarly except that agar disks did not contain Sclerotinia. Stems inoculated with S. minor or S. sclerotiorum developed symptoms of wilt and necrosis, including the appearance of white mycelium and sclerotia on the stem surface, whereas control plants remained healthy. S. minor or S. sclerotiorum were recovered from garbanzo stems inoculated with the respective species of the pathogen. Sclerotinia leaf drop, which can be caused by S. minor or S. sclerotiorum on lettuce in Arizona, had been observed in both fields previously. Garbanzo fields in Arizona usually are watered by furrow irrigation. Disease was most severe in areas of the garbanzo fields that were heavily irrigated with resultant wetting of tops of plant beds. Proper management of irrigation water and avoidance of establishing a garbanzo planting in fields following lettuce could help reduce future losses from these pathogens. S. minor previously had been reported as a pathogen on Cicer arietinum from the island of Sardinia (2); however, this is apparently the first report of the pathogen on garbanzo other than in Sardinia. S. sclerotiorum has been reported as a pathogen on this host in several countries including the United States (California) (1) but not previously in the state of Arizona. References: (1) I. W. Buddenhagen, F. Workneh, and N. A. Bosque-Perez. Int. Chickpea Newsl. 19:9-10, 1988. (2) F. Marras. Rev. Appl. Mycol. 43:112, 1964.

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Accession: 066555493

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PMID: 30832177


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