New Disease Reports (2007) 16, 22.

Pomegranate fruit rot caused by Coniella granati confirmed in Greece

G.T. Tziros* and K. Tzavella-Klonari

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Faculty of Agriculture, Plant Pathology Laboratory, P.O.B. 269, 541 24, Thessaloniki, Greece

*gtziros@yahoo.gr

Accepted: 03 Sep 2007

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a rapidly developing crop grown for its fruits all over Greece. In autumn 2006 a fruit rot was observed in six pomegranate orchards in the area of Serres (Northern Greece, Central Macedonia). Symptoms first appeared as small circular spots on the fruits which later increased in size and developed into expanded brown lesions. Affected fruits rotted completely during storage causing yield losses of up to 50%. Abundant pycnidia covered the rind of rotted fruits (Fig. 1).

Isolations made on potato dextrose agar (PDA) gave rise to white mycelium colonies that formed large numbers of pycnidia after incubation at 25° C for 7 days. The fungus was identified as Coniella granati (Hebert & Clayton, 1963; Sutton, 1969) based on morphological characteristics. Pycnidia were globose, brownish in colour, with thin membraneous pseudoparenchymatic walls 49- 112 µm in diameter. Conidia were hyaline, one-celled, elongate, straight or slightly curved, 12-18 x 2-5 µm (mean 13.1 x 3.4 µm) (Fig. 2). One isolate was deposited at the Benaki Phytopathological Institute Culture Collection as BPIC 2593.

Pathogenicity tests were conducted by placing 5 mm diameter mycelial plugs on to scalpel wounds made in the surface of sterilized fruits. The tests were repeated three times. Inoculated fruits were placed in plastic bags and kept at 25° C for 10 days. Wounded fruits without mycelial inoculum were kept as controls. After 10 days all inoculated plants developed symptoms similar to those seen in the field. The pathogen was reisolated from the fruit.

Coniella granati is a widespread pathogen of P. granatum recorded in Brazil, Cyprus, Italy, Korea, North Carolina, The Netherlands, Pakistan (Farr et al. 2007) and Turkey (Yildiz & Karaca, 1973), but to our knowledge this is the first report of this pathogen causing fruit rot of pomegranate in Greece.

Figure1
Figure 1: Rotted pomegranate fruit covered by pycnidia of Coniella granati
Figure2
Figure 2: Pycnidium and conidia of Coniella granati (Bar= 12.5µm)

References

Farr DF, Rossman AY, Palm ME, McGray EB, 2007. Fungal Databases, Systematic Botany & Mycology Laboratory, USDA: ARS. Retrieved June 26, 2007, from http: //nt.ars-grin.gov/fungal databases/.

Hebert TT, Clayton CN, 1963. Pomegranate fruit rot caused by Coniella granati. Plant Disease Reporter 47, 222-223.

Sutton BC, 1969. Type studies of Coniella, Anthasthoopa and Cyclodomella. Canadian Journal of Botany 47, 603-608.

Yildiz M, Karaca I, 1973. Türkiyede Coniella granati nin meydana getirdigi nar meyve çürüklügü . E.Ãœ. Ziraat Fakültesi Dergisi 10 (2), 315 - 325.

©2007 The Authors