Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

First report of Sclerotium rolfsii causing southern blight in Artemisia argyi in China.

Abstract

Artemisia argyi is a perennial species belonging to the Asteraceae family. The plants are used as a traditional herbal medicine and natural plant dye. In June 2017, a disease with symptoms similar to southern blight was observed on A. argyi, with a disease incidence of 5%, in Jingzhou, Hubei Province of China. The symptoms first appeared at the junction of the stem base and the soil, as white mycelium and dark brown necrotic lesions on the stem. Additional symptoms included leaf yellowing and wilting, and death of the plant during warm and humid weather. As the disease progressed, white and spherical sclerotia (1.0 to 2.0 mm in diameter) were developed, gradually turning tan to dark brown. For pathogen isolation and identification, mycelial fragments and sclerotia were collected from five plants. Based on the results of morphological observations, molecular investigations (DNA sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis) and pathogenicity tests, the causal agent was identified as Sclerotium rolfsii. This is thought to be the first report of S. rolfsii causing southern blight in A. argyi in China.