New Disease Reports (2001) 4, 7.

First report of leaf spot of Paederia scandens caused by Pseudocercospora paederiae in Korea

H.B. Lee 1*, S.H. Yu 2 and C.-J. Kim 1


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Accepted: 01 Oct 2001

Paederia scandens (Lour.) Merr. (=P. foetida L.), a fast growing perennial deciduous climbing plant in the Rubiaceae, is a native to eastern and southern Asia. The plant is widely distributed in grass land in the seashore of the sub-tropical island Cheju, as well as in the foothills of the middle and southern districts in Korea. Paederia scandens has been traditionally used as a medicinal herb in Asia. In Florida, where it is known as skunk vine weed, it creates dense canopies leading to injury, structural alteration, or death of native vegetation (Walker et al., 2001). In France and Germany, it has been cultivated as an ornamental and used to produce potable sweet juice. In July 2000-2001, a brown leaf spot was observed on P. scandens for the first time in Keryong Mountain in Chungnam district, South Korea. Further surveys for Paederia leaf spot in the southern districts, Chonnam, Kyeongnam, and Cheju island, revealed that the disease was widespread under moist and warm conditions. The typical disease symptoms were generally observed in late July and August due to a long rainy period. In addition, the long period of rainfall during late June and July in 2000 favored more development and spread of the disease than in 2001. The initial symptoms generally observed in early July consisted of small brown leaf spots that expanded and coalesced, resulting in discoloration, blight, necrosis, and defoliation (Fig. 1). Leaf spots were amphigenous, circular, irregular, distinct, orbicular, blackish or bright brown, sometimes reddish brown, often bordered with a raised dark linear margin on both leaf surfaces, and with gray to brown centers, commonly 1-5mm (up to 20mm) in diameter. The leaf spots were more severe on the leaves near the ground and progressed to the upper leaves. Small blackish brown leaf spots were also observed until late October.

Conidiomata were densely fasciculate to synnematous and the scars of the conidiogenous cells, which are rather inconspicuous, unthickened and not darkened, were the only definitive diagnostic signs observed. The morphological characteristics of conidiomata and scars (Fig. 2) matched previously reported descriptions of Pseudocercospora paederiae Goh & Hsieh (=Cercospora paederiae Sawada; =Cercospora paederiae Tai) (Hsieh & Goh, 1990; Guo & Liu, 1991), although the morphology resembled Phaeoisariopsis whose conidiomata were generally synnematous. Conidiophores were chiefly hypophyllous, but sometimes epiphyllous with globular or subglobular stromata, about 10-30 in dense synnemata, 119-210µm long and 3-5µm wide, arising from stromata, multiseptate, generally straight but often curved at the apices. They were caespitose, slightly wider at the apex than base, and sometimes forming rather loose synnemata at the apex. Synnemata were black brown, often branched, 102-153µm long and 14-41µm wide. Conidia were hyaline to brown, single, obclavate, generally slightly curved, with a rounded apex and an obconic truncate base, mostly 2-7 (up to 10) septate, 31-120µm long, 2-6µm wide at the apex and scar, respectively.

Pathogenicity of the fungus was determined on 4-week-old leaves of Paederia scandens. For inoculation, a conidial suspension (approximately 104 spores/ml) containing fungal mass such as synnematous conidiophores and mycelia was prepared from cultures grown on Paederia leaf extract-potato dextrose agar for 3 weeks. Slightly wounded (done by softly scratching the leaf surface with a needle) and non-wounded leaves of two plants were inoculated using a hand sprayer, and placed in a moist chamber at 25°C for 5 days, then moved into a growth chamber at about 25°C, or moved into a greenhouse. Symptoms similar to those originally observed began to appear on the leaves 2-3 weeks after inoculation. Non-inoculated control leaves exposed to the same environmental conditions remained healthy. P. paederiae was consistently re-isolated from inoculated plants.

This is the first report of Pseudocercospora paederiae on Paederia scandens in Korea.


Authors are grateful to Dr. Uwe Braun, Institut fuer Geobotanik Herbarium, Martin-Luther-Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, for kindly reviewing the causal fungus.


  1. Guo, YL, Liu, XJ, 1991. Studies on the genus Pseudocercospora in China V. Mycosystema 4, 99-148.
  2. Hsieh, WH, Goh, TK, 1990. Cercospora and similar fungi from Taiwan. 291. Maw Chang Book, Taiwan, Republic of China.
  3. Walker, SE, El-Gholl, NE, Pratt, PD and Schubert, TS, 2001. First U.S. Report of Pseudocercospora paederiae leaf spot on the invasive exotic Paederia foetida. Plant Disease 85(2), 232.

This report was formally published in Plant Pathology

©2001 The Authors