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First Report of Fusarium denticulatum from Sweet Potato in Venezuela

González, M.S., Fuenmayor, F., Godoy, F., Navas, R.
Plant disease 2003 v.87 no.2 pp. 202
Fusarium, Ipomoea batatas, agar, chlamydospores, chlorosis, conidia, conidiophores, cutting, deformation, fungi, germplasm, greenhouses, leaves, mycelium, pigmentation, plant pathology, planting, plastic bags, sand, shoots, sodium hypochlorite, soil, sweet potatoes, temperature, tissues, vines, Venezuela
During 2001and 2002, 53 accessions of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) from a germ plasm collection maintained in the field at Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, Maracay, Venezuela, were evaluated for diseases. Sweet potato accessions Catemaco and 2878 were symptomatic for chlorotic leaf distortion with deformation of young leaves and stunted vines. Symptomatic nodes and shoot tips were excised, surface disinfested in 0.5% sodium hypochlorite, cultured on potato dextrose agar (PDA), and incubated at 28°C. Pale pink colonies with white aerial mycelium developed from symptomatic tissues. At 20°C, pure cultures on PDA developed slow-growing, aerial, white-to-pink mycelium. Pigmentation in reverse was light orange. Conidia aggregated in false heads, and orange sporodochia were abundant. Conidiophores in aerial mycelium were prostrate, short, and sometimes branched. Sporodochial conidiophores were branched. Phialides were mostly monophialidic but occasionally polyphialidic and averaged 25.0 × 3.0 µm. Microconidia were abundant, long, oval to allantoid, and 0 to 1 septate. Macroconidia were fusiform to falcate with a beaked apical cell and a footlike basal cell, 3 to 5 sepate, and 38 to 45 × 3.6 to 4.0 µm. Chlamydospores were absent. The fungus was identified as Fusarium denticulatum Nirenberg and O'Donnell (1). Ten 25-cm-long vine-tip cuttings of accessions Catemaco and 2878 were immersed in a conidial suspension (1 × 10(6) conidia per ml) of F. denticulatum. As a control, vines were immersed in sterile, distilled water. After inoculation, each cutting was planted in a 13-cm plastic pot containing a soil/sand (1:1) mixture. Inoculated plants were covered with plastic bags for 48 h and grown in a greenhouse at temperatures ranging from 30 to 38°C. After 3 months, three inoculated plants of accession Catemaco and two plants of accession 2878 developed purple terminals and moderate interveinal chlorosis. Leaf distortion was not observed. F. denticulatum was recovered from both symptomatic and asymptomatic inoculated plants. To our knowledge, this is the first report of F. denticulatum from sweet potato germ plasm in Venezuela. Dried, pure cultures and slides of the fungus are being deposited in the Albert S. Muller Herbario Micologico (VIA).