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First Report of Soybean Rust Caused by Phakopsora pachyrhizi on Erythrina herbacea (Coral Bean)

Gevens, A.J., Nequi, N., Vitoreli, A., Marois, J.J., Wright, D.L., Harmon, C.L., Harmon, P.F.
Plant disease 2008 v.92 no.10 pp. 1472
Erythrina, ornamental plants, nursery crops, Phakopsora pachyrhizi, plant pathogenic fungi, rust diseases, new host records, disease reservoirs, disease surveillance, pathogen identification, alternative hosts, leaves, sporulation, disease diagnosis, polymerase chain reaction, overwintering
Soybean rust (SBR), caused by the obligate fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi Syd. & P. Syd., was initially reported on soybean (Glycine max L.) in Louisiana in 2004 and has since been reported on soybean and/or kudzu (Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi) in 9 states in 2005, 15 states in 2006, and 19 states in 2007 (1). The host range of P. pachyrhizi includes plants that are all in the Fabaceae or legume family. Six plant species in the United States have been reported as hosts of P. pachyrhizi: soybean, kudzu, Florida beggarweed (Desmodium tortuosum (Sw) DC.), dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), lima bean (P. lunatus L.), and scarlet runner bean (P. coccineus L.) (4). On 17 April 2008, a rust disease was observed on a weedy legume host with red showy flowers that was growing with kudzu in an overgrown vacant lot in the understory of live oak trees (Quercus virginiana Mill.) in Citra, FL. The discovery was made during routine scouting of this Integrated Pest Management Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (IPM PIPE) mobile sentinel plot (3). The plant was confirmed by University of Florida botanists to be Erythrina herbaceae L., commonly known as coral bean. Coral bean is native to the southeastern United States and also is planted as a perennial ornamental. A sample of leaves exhibiting rust pustules characteristic of P. pachyrhizi uredinia was collected and examined with a microscope. Brown-to-brick red, angular lesions that were 3 to 11 mm in diameter (average 6.75 mm) were observed on the undersides of the leaves of two trifoliates. Within these lesions, there were several uredinia, some exuding hyaline, echinulate urediniospores (20 x 25 μm). The visual diagnosis and the species of the rust fungus were confirmed to be P. pachyrizi by a real-time PCR protocol (2). The diagnosis on this new host was verified by a USDA, APHIS National Mycologist in Beltsville, MD. Coral bean may serve as an additional overwintering host for P. pachyrhizi in the southeast. To our knowledge, this is the first report of soybean rust caused by P. pachyrhizi on E. herbaceae.