First Report of the Presence of Albugo tragopogonis on Cineraria maritima in Italy.Plant Dis 2003; 87(4):450PD
Cineraria maritima L. (synonym Senecio cineraria DC.), commonly known as dusty-miller, is grown in Italy for landscape use in parks and gardens. In the spring of 2001, severe outbreaks of a previously unknown disease were observed in commercial farms located in northern Italy. Leaves of infected plants showed several sori on the abaxial surface, progressing to the adaxial surface, and often in the interveinal areas. On the adaxial surface of leaves, chlorotic areas developed and eventually turned brown. Severely infected leaves wilted, but remained attached to the stem. Signs of the fungus were present as whitish and catenulate sporangia emerging from the sori. Sporangia, organized in chains, had an average diameter of 20.5 × 26.5 μm. On the basis of the microscopic observations, the causal agent of the disease was identified as Albugo tragopogonis. Pathogenicity was confirmed by inoculating leaves of healthy C. maritima plants with a sporangial suspension (5 × 102 sporangia per ml) obtained from infected plants. Noninoculated plants served as a control. Plants were kept covered with plastic bags for 72 h and maintained at 15°C. After 10 days, typical symptoms of white rust developed on inoculated plants starting from the basal leaves. Within 30 days, affected leaves were completely wilted. Microscopic examination of sporangia within sori verified the pathogen to be A. tragopogonis. No symptoms developed on the control plants. A. tragopogonis has been reported as the causal agent of white rust on several species belonging to the genus Senecio in the United States (1). In New Zealand, the presence of A. tragopogonis was reported on the genus Cineraria in 1959 (2). To our knowledge, this is the first report of the presence of white rust on Cineraria maritima in Italy. References: (1) D. F. Farr et al. Fungi on Plants and Plant Products in the United States. The American Phytopathological Society, St Paul, MN, 1989. (2) J. M. Dingley. N. Z. J. Agric. Res. 2:380, 1959.