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Abstract Full Text

A new disease of strawberry, fruit rot, caused by Geotrichum candidum in China.

Abstract

A new disease of strawberry (Fragaria ananassa Duch.) was discovered in the Lianqiao strawberry planting base in Shaodong County, in Hunan Province, China. In the early disease stage, leaves showed small black spots surrounded by yellow halos, while in the late stage, a white fluffy layer of mold appeared. Fruits were covered with a white layer of mold. The symptoms were observed using in vitro inoculation experiments. After the spray-inoculation of stabbed leaves, small black spots surrounded by yellow halos occurred on leaves, with no clear boundary between diseased and healthy areas. In the late stage, disease spots gradually expanded and a white fluffy layer of mold formed under humid conditions. Unstabbed leaves had almost no disease occurrence after spray-inoculation. After the spray inoculation of stabbed fruits, by the late stage, a dense white layer of mold formed. According to Koch's postulates, the isolated strain was verified as a pathogen. The pathogenic strain, designated SDLQ16, was isolated from diseased fruit by dilution method and tentatively identified as G. candidum based on the culture characteristics, morphologies, physio-biochemical analysis, and phylogenetic analysis of the rDNA-ITS sequence. The fungus was able to grow on different culture mediums, with a broad range of nutrition. The colonies on PDA medium were raised and pale white, with a neat edge and visible hyphae. The hyphae were friable but the spores were developing. Basal hyphae rapidly grew close to the medium to 3.2-4.2 µm in diameter, with septa and forked branches at acute angles. The solitary or beaded spores with smooth surfaces were 3.5-7.5 µm in length and 3.5-4.5 µm in width. This strain was able to gelatin liquefaction, proteolysis, grease, peptonised milk, urea, and so on. The pathogenicity on strawberry from strong to weak was: fruit > leaf > stem. A BLAST algorithm was used to query SDLQ16's rDNA-ITS sequence (cloned and deposited as GenBank number KU373122) against the NCBI database, and it was located in the Acinetobacter sp. branch of a phylogenetic tree. SDLQ16 was most closely related to Geotrichum candidum ATCC34614 (GQ4580314.1), with a sequence similarity of 99%.