Research Article

Morphological and molecular characterization of Fusarium spp pathogenic to pecan tree in Brazil

Published: November 11, 2014
Genet. Mol. Res. 13 (4) : 9390-9402 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/2014.November.11.5
Cite this Article:
M. Lazarotto, P.M. Milanesi, M.F.B. Muniz, L.R.S. Reiniger, R. Beltrame, R. Harakava, E. Blume (2014). Morphological and molecular characterization of Fusarium spp pathogenic to pecan tree in Brazil. Genet. Mol. Res. 13(4): 9390-9402. https://doi.org/10.4238/2014.November.11.5
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Abstract

The occurrence of Fusarium spp associated with pecan tree (Carya illinoinensis) diseases in Brazil has been observed in recent laboratory analyses in Rio Grande do Sul State. Thus, in this study, we i) obtained Fusarium isolates from plants with disease symptoms; ii) tested the pathogenicity of these Fusarium isolates to pecan; iii) characterized and grouped Fusarium isolates that were pathogenic to the pecan tree based on morphological characteristics; iv) identified Fusarium spp to the species complex level through TEF-1α sequencing; and v) compared the identification methods used in the study. Fifteen isolates collected from the inflorescences, roots, and seeds of symptomatic plants (leaf necrosis or root rot) were used for pathogenicity tests. Morphological characterization was conducted using only pathogenic isolates, for a total of 11 isolates, based on the mycelial growth rate, sporulation, colony pigmentation, and conidial length and width variables. Pathogenic isolates were grouped based on morphological characteristics, and molecular characterization was performed by sequencing TEF-1α genes. Pathogenic isolates belonging to the Fusarium chlamydosporum species complex, Fusarium graminearum species complex, Fusarium proliferatum, and Fusarium oxysporum were identified based on the TEF-1α region. Morphological characteristics were used to effectively differentiate isolates and group the isolates according to genetic similarity, particularly conidial width, which emerged as a key morphological descriptor in this study.

The occurrence of Fusarium spp associated with pecan tree (Carya illinoinensis) diseases in Brazil has been observed in recent laboratory analyses in Rio Grande do Sul State. Thus, in this study, we i) obtained Fusarium isolates from plants with disease symptoms; ii) tested the pathogenicity of these Fusarium isolates to pecan; iii) characterized and grouped Fusarium isolates that were pathogenic to the pecan tree based on morphological characteristics; iv) identified Fusarium spp to the species complex level through TEF-1α sequencing; and v) compared the identification methods used in the study. Fifteen isolates collected from the inflorescences, roots, and seeds of symptomatic plants (leaf necrosis or root rot) were used for pathogenicity tests. Morphological characterization was conducted using only pathogenic isolates, for a total of 11 isolates, based on the mycelial growth rate, sporulation, colony pigmentation, and conidial length and width variables. Pathogenic isolates were grouped based on morphological characteristics, and molecular characterization was performed by sequencing TEF-1α genes. Pathogenic isolates belonging to the Fusarium chlamydosporum species complex, Fusarium graminearum species complex, Fusarium proliferatum, and Fusarium oxysporum were identified based on the TEF-1α region. Morphological characteristics were used to effectively differentiate isolates and group the isolates according to genetic similarity, particularly conidial width, which emerged as a key morphological descriptor in this study.