First Report of Stemphylium botryosum on Spinach in Texas. Academic Article uri icon


  • During the 2009 to 2010 growing season, symptoms of an unknown leaf spot were observed on spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) in production fields in southwest Texas. Approximately 500 ha were affected, especially cvs. Rakaia and Viceroy. Disease incidence was 30 and 2% for Rakaia and Viceroy, respectively. Diseased plants exhibited small (1 to 3 mm in diameter), tan, necrotic lesions with a circular to oval shape and were void of any signs of a pathogen. Symptomatic leaves were surface sterilized in 1.5% NaOCl for 1 min, rinsed with sterile water, and air dried. Leaf sections (~1 cm2) were cut and placed on acidified potato dextrose agar (APDA), or APDA supplemented with streptomycin (SAPDA). Fungal mycelia growing from the edges of infected leaf sections were transferred to PDA and incubated at 25C with a 12-h/12-h light/dark cycle. After 14 days of incubation, dark brown mycelia giving rise to unbranched conidiophores bearing brown, deeply septate, ovoid conidia were observed. Conidia measured 16.8 to 27.3 13.1 to 19.6 m. On the basis of these morphological characteristics, the fungus was identified as Stemphylium botryosum (3). Cultures were transferred to clarified V8 juice agar to obtain inoculum for pathogenicity tests. Eight-week-old plants (n = 20) of spinach cvs. Hybrid 310, Wintergreen, Ashley, and Rakaia were sprayed until runoff with a suspension containing 0.001% Tween 80 and 1 104 conidia/ml. Noninoculated plants served as a control treatment. Plants were placed in a growth chamber and incubated in the dark at 25C and 95% relative humidity. Following 36 h of incubation, plants were transferred to a plastic enclosure and maintained at 23 4C. After 7 to 10 days, tan, oval-shaped lesions were observed on all inoculated spinach plants. All control plants, with the exception of Rakaia, failed to develop symptoms. Isolates of S. botryosum were recovered on SAPDA from symptomatic leaves, confirming Koch's postulates. Previous reports have shown that S. botryosum can be transmitted from infected seed (1), thus, additional plants of each cultivar (n = 36) were grown in the greenhouse to determine the potential for seedborne contamination. After 8 weeks, leaf spot symptoms identical to those observed on the original plants developed on 75% of the Rakaia plants, while symptom development on the other cultivars was negligible. Isolates of S. botryosum were only recovered from symptomatic Rakaia leaves. Similar field observations were made during the 2001 to 2002 growing season; however, attempts to isolate S. botryosum in that season were unsuccessful. Recent outbreaks of Stemphylium leaf spot have been reported in Arizona (4), California (3), Delaware and Maryland (2), and Washington (1). To our knowledge, this is the first report of S. botryosum on spinach in Texas. While the origin of inoculum causing the disease in Texas is unknown, S. botryosum may have been seedborne (2). The implementation within the past few years of very high density plantings of spinach (1.9 to 3.7 million seeds/ha) may lead to an increase in incidence and severity of this disease in Texas. References: (1) L. J. du Toit and M. L. Derie. Plant Dis. 85:920, 2001. (2) K. L. Everts and D. K. Armentrout. Plant Dis. 85:1209, 2001. (3) S. T. Koike et al. Plant Dis. 85:126, 2001. (4) S. T. Koike et al. Plant Dis. 89:1359, 2005.

published proceedings

  • Plant Dis

author list (cited authors)

  • Reed, J. D., Woodward, J. E., Ong, K. L., Black, M. C., & Stein, L. A.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Reed, JD||Woodward, JE||Ong, KL||Black, MC||Stein, LA

publication date

  • November 2010