First report of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum on buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) in Italy.
In each of two fields of buckwheat (F. esculentum) grown in Benevento Province (southern Italy), 60-70% of the plants developed severe root and crown rot. Symptoms included irregular, water-soaked spots on stems that were eventually covered with cottony mycelia as the lesions enlarged. Black sclerotia usually developed within the mycelium. On the basis of colony morphology, including the production of black sclerotia, molecular investigations and pathogenicity tests, the fungus was identified as S. sclerotiorum. This is thought to be the first report of S. sclerotiorum on buckwheat in Italy. The high incidence and severity of the disease may be limiting factors in the development of buckwheat as an alternative crop of tobacco in southern italy.