First report of Pythium debaryanum causing chili damping off in Pakistan.
In October 2015, chili pepper (Capsicum annum) fields were surveyed in Lahore District, Punjab Province, Pakistan. The objective of the survey was to identify and isolate the major soilborne fungal pathogens of chili peppers. Damping off symptoms were visible on seedlings of local variety Jwala. Roots of infected plants were shriveled, blackened, and dried out near the soil line. The symptoms were advancing toward the upper portions of the roots. Approximately 45% of the plants were diseased in all surveyed areas. Ten fields of chili pepper were visited and root samples were collected from severely damped off plants. Based on morphological and biometric characteristics, results of DNA sequence analysis and pathogenicity, the causal agent was identified as Pythium debaryanum. Pythium spp. have already been reported as pathogens on many plant species worldwide. This is thought to be the first report of P. debaryanum causing damping off of chili in Pakistan.