Puccinia pittieriana (common rust of potato)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Seedborne Aspects
- Pathway Vectors
- Plant Trade
- Impact Summary
- Impact: Economic
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Puccinia pittieriana Henn. 1904
Preferred Common Name
- common rust of potato
Other Scientific Names
- Micropuccinia pittieriana (Henn.) Arthur and H.S. Jacks. 1922
International Common Names
- English: common potato rust; potato common rust; potato rust; rust of potato; tomato rust
- Spanish: roya comun; roya de la papa; roya de la patata; roya del tomate
- French: rouille de la pomme de terre
Local Common Names
- Ecuador: herrumbre de la papa el tomate
- Germany: kartoffel rost
- PUCCPT (Puccinia pittieriana)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
P. pittieriana is a microcyclic rust fungus occurring on potato [Solanum tuberosum], tomato [Solanum lycopersicum] and wild species of Solanum in South and Central America and is an EPPO A1 quarantine organism for Europe (EPPO, 1988). Probably capable of causing disease on potatoes in cool, moist regions of the temperate and tropical zones, this fungus can be transported in fresh or dried plant material or crop debris in soil. As the basidiospores are short-lived and not produced in large numbers, the fungus is not spread far by natural agents such as the wind.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Fungi
- Phylum: Basidiomycota
- Subphylum: Pucciniomycotina
- Class: Pucciniomycetes
- Order: Pucciniales
- Family: Pucciniaceae
- Genus: Puccinia
- Species: Puccinia pittieriana
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
Arthur (1922a) established genera such as Micropuccinia based on the rust life cycles, but these have not been accepted.
DescriptionTop of page
P. pittieriana is a microcyclic (short cycle) rust that produces only teliospores and basidiospores.
Telia hypophyllous, gregarious, to 5 mm diameter, often fusing. Teliospores one-septate, broadly ellipsoid to ovoid, apex rounded, slightly constricted at the septum, smooth, orange to brown, 16-25 x 20-35 µm. Wall 1-2 at sides, 3-7 above. Pedicels hyaline to yellowish, up to 60 x 6 µm. Basidiospores hyaline, 8-18 x 11-25 µm. Single-celled mesopores occasionally present.
DistributionTop of page
P. pittieriana was first recorded in Costa Rica, where it was collected on cultivated potato [Solanum tuberosum], high on the slopes of Irazu volcano in 1903 and 1904 by Pittier (Arthur, 1920) and it was formally described by Hennings (1904). The rust was reported again in 1916 by Holway on wild potato (Hennings, 1904; Kern, 1933). Pachano reported it attacking both potato and tomato [Solanum lycopersicum] in Ecuador in 1919 (Kern, 1933). Chardon and Toro (1930) described its presence in Colombia on potato, causing severe losses in the central Cordillera region, primarily in Nariño and Tolima. In Peru, Abbott (1931) found this rust on potato only near Tarma. It was identified by Chardon in Venezuela in 1932 (Kern, 1933).
Reddick (1932) reported the presence of P. pittieriana on the wild potato, Solanum demissum, in central Mexico. Alvarez (1976) listed this species in Mexico, but no specimens exist in national collections.
In Brazil, Solanum rust was detected on cultivated potatoes and first reported by Goncalves da Silva (1939) for the state of Espirito Santo; it was later found in the state of São Paulo (Hennen et al., 1982). In Bolivia, Alandia-Borda (1966) reported P. pittieriana on leaves of the wild potato, Solanum platypterum, in Potosi, but this record is now doubtful (EPPO, 2000).
UK CAB International (1994) shows P. pittieriana in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay and Venezuela. Paraguay has been listed because of an error in a citation of Hennings (1904); he only reports P. pittieriana as present in Costa Rica.
See also CABI\EPPO (1997).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 13 May 2022
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Costa Rica||Present, Localized|
|Mexico||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|Bolivia||Absent, Invalid presence record(s)|
|Brazil||Absent, Invalid presence record(s)|
|-Espirito Santo||Absent, Invalid presence record(s)|
|Paraguay||Absent, Invalid presence record(s)|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
As dissemination of the disease has not been recorded on tubers in trade, there is no apparent risk of spread of this disease on plant material, unless dried or infected living specimens are distributed for research to regions free of P. pittieriana (EPPO, 1988). Thurston (1973) considered this pathogen to have “limited threat potential”, but noted that it could be established in tropical countries where potatoes [Solanum tuberosum] are grown at high altitudes.
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial||Managed||Cultivated / agricultural land||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Natural grasslands||Present, no further details||Natural|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
Field observations were made on cultivated tomato [Solanum lycopersicum], cultivated potatoes (Solanum tuberosum subsp. andigenum and subsp. tuberosum), and the wild potato, Solanum demissum. All other records of susceptibility listed are the results of greenhouse tests (Reddick, 1932; Buritica et al., 1968).
P. pittieriana affects the following cultivated and wild potato species in greenhouse tests:
- Cultivated potato: Solanum ajanhuiri, Solanum curtilobum, Solanum juzepczukii, Solanum phureja, S. tuberosum subsp. andigenum and S. tuberosum subsp. tuberosum.
- Wild potato species: Solanum antipoviczii [Solanum stoloniferum], Solanum cardiophyllum, Solanum commersonii, S. demissum, Solanum ehrenbergii, Solanum gibberulosum, Solanum famatinae [Solanum spegazzinii], Solanum malinchense [Solanum stoloniferum], Solanum oplocense, Solanum parodii [Solanum chacoense], Solanum schickii, Solanum simplicifolium [Solanum microdontum], Solanum stoloniferum and Solanum verrucosum (Buritica et al., 1968).
- Other species of Solanum affected are Solanum caripense and Solanum nigrum in Colombia (Buritica et al., 1968).
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Solanum cardiophyllum||Solanaceae||Wild host|
|Solanum caripense||Solanaceae||Wild host|
|Solanum chacoense||Solanaceae||Wild host|
|Solanum colombianum||Solanaceae||Wild host|
|Solanum commersonii||Solanaceae||Wild host|
|Solanum demissum||Solanaceae||Wild host|
|Solanum ehrenbergii||Solanaceae||Wild host|
|Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)||Solanaceae||Main|
|Solanum microdontum||Solanaceae||Wild host|
|Solanum nigrum (black nightshade)||Solanaceae||Wild host|
|Solanum oplocense||Solanaceae||Wild host|
|Solanum spegazzinii||Solanaceae||Wild host|
|Solanum stoloniferum||Solanaceae||Wild host|
|Solanum tuberosum (potato)||Solanaceae||Main|
|Solanum tuberosum subsp. andigenum||Solanaceae||Main|
|Solanum verrucosum||Solanaceae||Wild host|
Growth StagesTop of page
SymptomsTop of page
Lesions begin as minute, round, greenish-white spots that grow up to 3-4 mm diameter on the underside of leaves. Some lesions become elongated with their longer axes reaching 8 mm. They later become cream, with reddish centres that turn tomato-red and finally rusty-red to coffee-brown. The lesions protrude by 1-3 mm, with corresponding depressions on the upper leaf surface, and may be surrounded by chlorotic or necrotic halos. Defoliation results when hundreds of lesions form on a leaf. Elongated or irregular lesions occur on petioles and stems; fruits and flowers are also affected (French, 2001a).
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Fruit / lesions: on pods|
|Inflorescence / lesions; flecking; streaks (not Poaceae)|
|Leaves / abnormal colours|
|Leaves / abnormal leaf fall|
|Leaves / fungal growth|
|Leaves / necrotic areas|
|Leaves / yellowed or dead|
|Stems / mould growth on lesion|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
Arthur (1922b) considered the source of inoculum for commercial crops to be wild hosts in Costa Rica and Ecuador.
The development and spread of the fungus requires average temperatures of approximately 10°C with 10-12 h of free moisture on the plant surface. Inoculum is wind-borne, spreading from earlier sown crops or wild hosts (Laundon and Rainbow, 1971). In vitro, teliospores germinate in 1 hour to produce a basidium (promycelium) which, at temperatures above 15°C, usually continues to grow vegetatively. Below 15°C, most basidia give rise to four basidiospores (sporidia) in 3-24 h. When detached, the basidiospores germinate immediately and the first symptoms appear in 14-16 days on potato at temperatures of 16°C or below. Lesions are fully grown in 20-25 days. Teliospores mature in 30-40 days after inoculation (French, 2001a). Lesion size may vary on different species of Solanum and possibly with different races (Castaño, 1952).
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
Seedborne AspectsTop of page
Pathway VectorsTop of page
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx||fungi/hyphae; fungi/spores||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Fruits (inc. pods)||fungi/hyphae; fungi/spores||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Leaves||fungi/hyphae; fungi/spores||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||fungi/hyphae; fungi/spores||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Growing medium accompanying plants|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
Impact SummaryTop of page
Impact: EconomicTop of page
Greatest losses are reported in northern Ecuador close to the equatorial line, where potatoes [Solanum tuberosum] are produced in a plateau area in Carchi and Tungurahua provinces. Parts of this region are above 3000 m in elevation, with conditions favourable for the development of common rust, where attempts have been made to control this disease with fungicides (Velastegui, 1991).
Serious losses have occasionally been reported in Colombia in Nariño and Tolima by Chardon and Toro (1930), and in Caldas and Tolima by Castaño (1952). Commercial “chola” plantations failed completely due to rust in the Mocha area of Ecuador in 1959 (Diaz and Echeverrria, 1963).
Common rust has been observed in Peru only in the highlands of Junin and La Libertad (French et al., 1972), primarily on the eastern watershed of the Andes at altitudes of 2700-4300 m (French, 2001a), where it is restricted to a few locations by the microclimate or inoculum availability. Losses are seldom severe even though symptoms may be conspicuous, primarily on the lower leaves, some of which may drop.
Losses have not been quantified in any of the countries in which common rust has been reported, but P. pittieriana only appears to be a limiting factor for potato production in northern Ecuador, sometimes in Colombia and only rarely in Peru.
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page
- Host damage
- Negatively impacts agriculture
- Negatively impacts livelihoods
- Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
DiagnosisTop of page
Common rust is the only rust that affects tomato [Solanum lycopersicum]; therefore, there can be no confusion on this crop. Potatoes [Solanum tuberosum] are affected by both common rust and deforming rust (Aecidium cantense), but these diseases produce different symptoms. Potato common rust produces typical telia in lesions on leaves and stems, whereas deforming rust produces saucer-shaped aecia and growth distortions of the leaves and stems (French, 2001a,b).
At least one sequence for the LSU region of rDNA is publicly available for comparison (NCBI, 2009).
Detection and InspectionTop of page
There are no records of transported contaminated crop produce causing spread of P. pittieriana. The only risk of spread is by the transport of infected plants or plant material, which is usually prohibited. Field-grown potatoes [Solanum spp.] from highland areas in countries where this disease is known should not enter international trade. There is no need for detection and inspection procedures if appropriate transport restrictions are observed.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
Potatoes [Solanum tuberosum] can be damaged by another disease, known as “deforming rust”, caused by Aecidiumcantense. Deforming rust also attacks ulluco (Ullucus tuberosus). These two rusts usually occur in distinct geographical areas in the Andes. Deforming rust occurs primarily in Peru, but has also been reported in Argentina. Symptoms are distinct; common rust produces typical Puccinia telia in lesions on leaves and stems, whereas deforming rust produces groups of saucer-shaped aecia on leaves, petioles and stems, causing distortion and swelling of the leaves and stems (French, 2001b).
Additional rust fungi reported on Solanum species, other than cultivated potato, are described and illustrated by Kern (1933) and Pardo-Cardona (2002). These are differentiated primarily by minor differences in teliospore morphology. Puccinia solani-tristis is reported on a number of wild Solanum species in Brazil (Mendes et al., 1998); that and eight other species are reported from Colombia (Pardo-Cardona, 2002).
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
Cultural Control and Sanitary Measures
In areas of the steeply sloping Andes of Peru, where the disease is most severe, farmers often choose to plant potatoes [Solanum spp.] in fields in nearby microclimates that are less favourable to the disease (French et al., 1972).
In northern Ecuador, where losses due to common rust can limit production, chemical control has been tested over a number of years. Diaz and Echevarria (1963) reported that the organic fungicides folpet, maneb, thiram and zineb, applied every 14 days, gave better preventative control than five other fungicides tested. Better results were obtained with the systemic fungicides oxycarboxin and propiconazole (Velastegui, 1991). Quijano and Molina Valero (1988) reported best control in field tests in Colombia with Tilt (propiconazole), Plantvax (oxycarboxin), and Sicarol 500 (pyracarbolid) reducing disease more than 80%; best yields were obtained with Plantvax, Tilt and Elosal 720 (azufre). Plantvax and Tilt inhibited teliospore germination in vitro.
Chemical control is not common in Peru, although applications of metiram every 7-10 days have been shown to reduce incidence (French et al., 1972).
Resistance to common rust was found when 136 potato cultivars were screened by natural field infection at two locations in Tungurahua province, Ecuador. A total of 12 cultivars were reported as having adequate resistance. The three most resistant were Ecuadorian Potato Collection (Coleccion Ecuatoriana de Papa) numbers 305, 314 and 503 (Coronel-Orijalva, 1970).
Gaps in Knowledge/Research NeedsTop of page
The genetic relationship of P. pittieriana to other species of Puccinia on Solanum in South America should be studied to clarify the actual distribution of these pathogens and the threat of their introduction.
ReferencesTop of page
Alandia-Borda S, 1966. (New identifications of plant parasitic fungi on economic plants of Bolivia) Nuevas identificaciones de hongos parasitos de plantas economicas de Bolivia. Turrialba, 16: 398-401.
Arthur JC, 1918. Uredinales of Costa Rica based on collections by E.W.D. Holway. Mycologia, 10:111-154.
Arthur JC, 1922. Origin of potato rust. Science, 53: 228-229.
Buritica P; Orjuela J; Bustamante E, 1968. (Potato rust in Colombia and its implications) La roya de la papa en Colombia y sus implicaciones. Agricultura Tropical (Colombia), 24: 221-222.
Castaño JJ, 1952. (Potato rust) Roya de la papa. Agricultura Tropical (Bogota), 8: 47-48.
Chardon CE; Toro R, 1930. Mycological explorations of Colombia. J. Department of Agriculture Puerto Rico, 14: 195-369.
Coronel-Orijalva MA, 1970. (Determination of resistances to late blight and common rust and other characteristics of potato germplasm) Determinacion de las resistancias a "lancha" y "roya" y otras caracteristicas germoplasmicas en papa. Tesis Ing. Agr. Universidad Central del Ecuador (Quito). 80 pp.
EPPO, 2000. Corrections to PQR 3.9, quarantine pests for Europe, maps of quarantine pests for Europe. Corrections to PQR 3.9, quarantine pests for Europe, maps of quarantine pests for Europe. Paris, France: EPPO, unpaginated. http://archives.eppo.org/EPPOReporting/2000/Rse-0001.pdf
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
French ER, 1981. Compendium of Potato Diseases. Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA: APS Press, p. 65.
French ER; Torres H; Icochea TA de; Salazar L; Fribourg C; Fernandez EN; Martin A; Franco J; Scurrah MM de; Herrera IA; Vise C; Lazo L; Hidalgo OA, 1972. Enfermedades de la Papa en el Peru (Potato diseases in Peru). Boletin Tecnico No. 77, Estacion Experimental Agricola La Molina, 36 pp.
Goncalves de Silva S, 1939. (Preliminary list of diseases of plants in Santo Espirito state) Lista preliminar das doencas das plantas no Estado do Espirito Santo. Boletin Ministerio Agricultura Rio de Janeiro, 12 pp.
Hennings P, 1904. (Some new fungi from Costa Rica and Paraguay) Einige neue pilze aus Costarica und Paraguay. Hedwigia, 43:147-149.
Hernández JR; Piepenbring M; Vega Rios MB, 2007. A new species, Dicheirinia panamensis, and new records of rust fungi from Panama. Mycological Progress, 6(2):81-91. http://www.springerlink.com/content/v75167866617847p/?p=da4bd7723ea0409cab9dcf2d75ddfbaa&pi=1
Kern FD, 1933. The microcyclic species of Puccinia on Solanum. Mycologia, 25:435-441.
Pardo-Cardona VM, 1998. Distribution of the Colombian species of Uredinales in relation to taxonomical groups of its hosts. (Distribucion de las especies Colombianas de Uredinales segun los grupos taxonomicos de sus hospederos.) Revista - Facultad Nacional de Agronomía Medellín, 51(2):285-319.
Quijano SO; Molina Valero LA, 1988. [English title not available]. (Control químico de la roya (Puccinia pittieriana Henn.) en papa de la variedad Parda Pastusa en el departamento de Nariño.) Revista de Ciencias Agrícolas (Colombia), 10(3-4):31-49.
Reddick D, 1932. Some diseases of wild potatoes in Mexico. Phytopathology, 22: 609-612.
Velastegui JR, 1991. (Chemical control of Puccinia pittieriana P. Henn., causal agent of potato rust, with systemic fungicides). Control quimico de Puccinia pittieriana P. Henn., agente de la roya de la papa, con fungicidas sistemicos. In Memorias del V seminario Nacional de Sanidad Vegetal, 7-9 Junio 1988, Universidad de Cuenca, Ecuador, 104-105.
Watson AJ, 1971. Foreign bacterial and fungus diseases of food, forage and fiber crops: An annotated list. Washington, D.C., USA: US Department of Agriculture Handbook No. 418, 111 pp.
Alandia-Borda S, 1966. New identifications of plant parasitic fungi on economic plants of Bolivia. (Nuevas identificaciones de hongos parasitos de plantas economicas de Bolivia). In: Turrialba, 16 398-401.
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
French ER, Torres H, Icochea TA de, Salazar L, Fribourg C, Fernandez EN, Martin A, Franco J, Scurrah MM de, Herrera IA, Vise C, Lazo L, Hidalgo OA, 1972. Potato diseases in Peru. (Enfermedades de la Papa en el Peru). In: Boletin Tecnico, Estacion Experimental Agricola La Molina, 77 36 pp.
Hennen J F, Hennen M M, Figueiredo M B, 1982. Index of the rust fungi (Uredinales) of Brazil. (Índice das ferrugens (Uredinales) do Brasil.). In: Arquivos do Instituto Biológico, 49 (Supplement 1) 201 pp.
Pardo-Cardona V M, 1998. Distribution of the Colombian species of Uredinales in relation to taxonomical groups of its hosts. (Distribucion de las especies Colombianas de Uredinales segun los grupos taxonomicos de sus hospederos.). Revista - Facultad Nacional de Agronomía Medellín. 51 (2), 285-319.
OrganizationsTop of page
Peru: Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP), Apartado 1558, Lima 12, http://www.cipotato.org
ContributorsTop of page
06/11/09 Updated by:
Distribution MapsTop of page
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