, Volume 169, Issue 5, pp 403–412 | Cite as

Morphological and Molecular Characterization of the Causal Agent of Downy Mildew on Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa)

  • Young-Joon Choi
  • Solveig Danielsen
  • Mette Lübeck
  • Seung-Beom Hong
  • Rolf Delhey
  • Hyeon-Dong Shin


Downy mildew is an economically important and widespread disease in quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) growing areas. Although in many studies Peronospora farinosa is most commonly regarded as the causal agent of the disease, identification and classification of the pathogen remain still uncertain due to its taxonomic confusion. Thirty-six Peronospora isolates from quinoa with different geographic origins including Argentina, Bolivia, Denmark, Ecuador, and Peru were morphologically and molecularly compared with Peronospora species from other Chenopodium species. The morphology of three herbarium specimens was similar to that of P. variabilis, which originated from C. album, characterized by flexuous to curved ultimate branchlets and pedicellated conidia. Phylogenetic analysis based on ITS rDNA sequences also placed the quinoa pathogen within the same clade as P. variabilis. Within the ITS rDNA sequences of the quinoa pathogens, two base substitutions were found, which separated the majority of the Danish isolates from isolates from South America, but no sequence difference was found among the isolates from different cultivars of quinoa. The present results indicate that the pathogen responsible for the quinoa downy mildew is identical to Peronospora variabilis and that it should not be lumped with P. farinosa as claimed previously by most studies.


Chenopodiaceae Geographic origin ITS rDNA Morphology Peronosporaceae Phylogenetic analysis 



The authors are grateful to the curator of herbarium BPI for allowing access to specimens in their care.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Young-Joon Choi
    • 1
  • Solveig Danielsen
    • 2
  • Mette Lübeck
    • 3
  • Seung-Beom Hong
    • 4
  • Rolf Delhey
    • 5
  • Hyeon-Dong Shin
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, College of Life Sciences and BiotechnologyKorea UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Centre for Health Research and Development (DBL), Faculty of Life SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenFrederiksberg C, CopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Section for Sustainable Biotechnology, Copenhagen Institute of TechnologyAalborg UniversityBallerup, AalborgDenmark
  4. 4.Korean Agricultural Culture Collection, National Agrobiodiversity CenterNAAS, RDASuwonKorea
  5. 5.Departamento de AgronomíaUniversidad Nacional del SurBahia BlancaArgentina

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