Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

First report of southern blight on Pinellia ternata caused by Athelia rolfsii in China.

Abstract

Pinellia ternata is an economically important medicinal plant, especially in China, although it is considered an invasive weed in some parts of the world. In July 2019, a basal stem rot was observed in three farm plantations of 4-month-old P. ternata, with some dark brown sclerotia visible on surfaces of diseased plants, in Xiangyang county, Hubei province, China. In a follow-up survey, the disease was also found in plantations in nearby counties, such as Jingzhou, Jingmen, Qianjiang, and Tianmen. Approximately one-third of plants in the 50-ha Xiangyang plantation were affected, leading to a drop in production. Symptoms first appeared at the junction of the stem base, as necrotic gray or dark brown stem lesions. Gradually, leaf yellowing and wilting, root rot, seedling blight, and death were observed, especially in warm and humid conditions. Late, white mycelium and brown sclerotia were mostly encountered at the base of the stem and on the soil surface near plants. Based on morphological characteristics, sequence analysis of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer gene and pathogenicity tests, the causal agent was identified as Athelia rolfsii. This is thought to be the first report of A. rolfsii causing leaf spot on P. ternata in China and worldwide.