Curvularia lunata as new causal pathogen of tomato early blight disease in Egypt.
Tomato plants displaying early blight symptoms were collected from different localities in the provinces of Assiut and Sohag, Egypt. The causal pathogens were isolated on potato dextrose agar plates. Pathogenicity tests with 48 isolates were carried out under greenhouse conditions on tomato cultivar (CV 844). All tested isolates caused symptoms of early blight disease with different degrees. The highest disease severity on tomato plants was found after inoculation with isolate No. 6 followed by isolates No. 20 and No. 31. The most pathogenic isolates were identified by sequence analysis using ITS1 and ITS4 primers. The analysis of the amplified sequences from fungal isolates No. 6, 20 and 31 displayed 99-100% nucleotide identity with Alternaria solani, Curvularia lunata and A. alternata, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Curvularia lunata as one of the causal pathogens of early blight disease of tomato plants in Egypt.