First report of ginseng (Panax ginseng) root rot caused by Fusarium acuminatum in China.
Ginseng (Panax ginseng) is a traditional Chinese medicinal plant in the Araliaceae, mainly cultivated in the northeast of China, with total production on ∼6000 ha in China. Fusarium root rot is a major disease of ginseng in China. The incidence of this disease ranged from 5.3 to 20.2% in 2000 ha of cultivated ginseng fields surveyed in northeast China in 2012. Symptoms included chlorosis and red discoloration, starting from the basal leaves and progressing toward the apical leaves. Some whole plants withered and died. Water-soaked, irregular lesions appeared on the surface of roots, and expanded gradually. The interior of some roots rotted to form an empty cortex. Symptomatic root samples (n=118) were collected from Ji'an City, Fusong County, Changbai County, and Dunhua City, Jilin Province, in June 2012 and from Fuxin and Huairen Cities, Liaoning Province, in October 2013. Based on morphological characteristics, molecular data (sequencing of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer region, the translation elongation factor-α and the β-tubulin genes) and pathogenicity tests, the causal agent was identified as F. acuminatum [Gibberella acuminata]. This is thought to be the first report of F. acuminatum causing Fusarium root rot of ginseng in China.