First report of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum causing stem rot of carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) in India.
A survey conducted during 2013, in cut flower growing areas of Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu, India, revealed the occurrence of stem rot in more than 10 cultivars of carnation. Initial symptoms include paleness of the plant and leaf drooping. When symptomatic plants were examined, cottony, white mycelial growth was observed in the root zone and collar region of the plant. Dark, black, irregular sclerotial bodies of various sizes were observed in split stems of severely affected plants. Approximately 38.5% of stem rot incidence was observed in 5 different locations. Based on morphological characteristics, DNA sequence analysis and a pathogenicity test, the causal agent was identified as Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. This is thought to be the first report of S. sclerotiorum causing stem rot of carnation in India.