M. Ghalandar1*, E. Clewes2, D.J. Barbara2, R. Zare3 and A. Heydari3
1 Agricultural Research Centre of Markazi Province, P.O. Box 889, Arak, Iran
2 Warwick HRI, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, CV35 9EF, UK
3 Plant Pests and Diseases Research Institute, P.O. Box 1454, Tehran 19395, Iran
Accepted: 24 May 2004
Following amplification by PCR, the sequences of the complete ITS1/5.8S/ITS2 regions of the rRNA gene repeats for three isolates (GenBank Acc. Nos AY536044-6) were identical to that previously reported for the lucerne (L) pathotypes of V. albo-atrum (Barbara & Clewes, 2003). Although generally similar morphologically to V. albo-atrum, the resting mycelium produced in culture was paler than expected and without the torulose cells described previously (Hawksworth & Talboys, 1970). The source of the outbreak is unknown but V. albo-atrum is known to be seed-borne in alfalfa (Leath & Pennypacker, 1990) and may have been introduced to Iran by this means.
As compared to the non-lucerne pathotype, the L pathotype of V. albo-atrum has a restricted host range and geographic distribution and generally causes only mild diseases in hosts other than alfalfa (Leath & Pennypacker, 1990). Verticillium-wilt of alfalfa was first reported in Europe but has since been reported from the Unites States, Canada, New Zealand and Japan (Pegg & Brady, 2002). This is the first reported occurrence of Verticillium-wilt disease of alfalfa in Iran, or indeed anywhere in continental Asia. Verticillium-wilt can be a severe disease in alfalfa and should it become widespread in Iran, it could cause significant crop loss.
Barbara DJ, Clewes E, 2003. Plant pathogenic Verticillium species: how many of them are there? Molecular Plant Pathology 4, 297-305.
Hawksworth DL, Talboys PW, 1970. Verticillium albo-atrum. CMI Descriptions of Pathogenic Fungi and Bacteria. No. 255. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing.
Leath KT, Pennypacker BW, 1990. Verticillium wilt. In: Stuteville DL, Erwin DC, eds. Compendium of Alfalfa Diseases. St Paul, MN, USA: APS Press, 39-41.
Pegg GF, Brady BL, 2002. Verticillium wilts. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing.
©2004 The Authors