Alternaria alternata: A new seed-transmitted disease of coriander in South Africa
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This is the first report of Alternaria leaf spot disease on coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) in South Africa. Using the agar plate method, Alternaria alternata was isolated from coriander seed lots together with four other fungal genera, which included Aspergillus, Fusarium, Penicillium and Rhizopus. Standard seed germination tests of coriander seed lots infected with seed-borne mycoflora showed a positive correlation with the number of diseased seedlings (r = 0.239, p < 0.01). Pathogenicity tests demonstrated that this seed-borne A. alternata was pathogenic on coriander and symptoms on leaves first appeared as small, dark brown to black, circular lesions (<5 mm diam.) that enlarged and coalesced to form dark brown blotches as time progressed. Leaf spot disease was most severe (64%) on wounded leaves inoculated with A. alternata. Re-isolation of A. alternata from diseased coriander plants satisfied the Koch’s postulates, thus confirming it as the causal agent of Alternaria leaf spot disease. Parsimony analysis based on rpb2 (GenBank Accession No. KT895947), gapdh (KT895949) and tef-1α (KT895945) sequences confirmed identity of the Alternaria isolate, which grouped within the A. alternata clade. Alternaria alternata was shown to be transmitted from infected coriander seed to the developing plants.
KeywordsSeed-borne Seed-transmitted Alternaria alternata Coriandrum sativum
We wish to thank Nicole Joubert for help with experimental design and data analysis.
This work was funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FWP 7/2013–2015) Seed health: Development of seed treatment methods, evidence for seed transmission and assessment of seed health.
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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