First Report of Peronospora arborescens as the Causal Agent of Downy Mildew on Papaver nudicaule in Italy.Plant Dis 2003; 87(10):1265PD
Iceland poppy (Papaver nudicaule L.) is increasingly grown on the Italian Riviera for export as a cut flower. During the spring of 2003, leaves with irregular, brown, angular spots were collected from a commercial crop grown outdoors near Ventimiglia (northern Italy) with temperatures ranging from 3 to 14°C. Leaves of infected plants appeared curled and blistered; the infected portions of the leaves turned chlorotic. On both surfaces of infected leaves, a characteristic gray, furry growth was evident, particularly at the center of the necrotic areas. Infected leaves eventually died without dropping. Basal leaves with poor air circulation were the most severely affected by the disease. Microscopic observations revealed conidiophores branching dichotomically at least five times. Conidiophores ended with sterigmata bearing single conidia. Conidia measured 19 to 24 × 16 to 18 μm and were elliptical to near spherical and hyaline. Oospores were not present. The pathogen was identified as Peronospora arborescens based on the morphological characteristics (2). Pathogenicity was confirmed by inoculating 60-day-old healthy P. nudicaule plants with a conidial suspension (1 × 105 conidia per ml). Five plants were used as replicates. Inoculated and noninoculated plants were maintained in a growth chamber at 15°C and 90 to 95% relative humidity. After 7 to 10 days, typical symptoms of downy mildew developed oninoculated plants. Peronospora arborescens was observed on infected leaves. Noninoculated plants did not show symptoms. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Peronospora arborescens on P. nudicaule in Italy. Peronospora arborescens was previously reported on P. nudicaule and on many other species of Papaver (P. somniferum, P. dubium, P. caucasicum, P. rhoeas, P. setigerum, and P. argemone) in everal countries (1,2). References: (1) P. J. Cotteril and I. G. Pascoe. Australas. Plant Pathol. 27:263, 1998. (2) S. M. Francis. No. 686 in: Descriptions of Pathogenic Fungi and Bacteria. CMI, Kew, Surrey, U.K., 1981.