Short communication. Phytophthora nicotianae, the causal agent of root and crown rot (Tristeza disease) of red pepper in La Vera region (Cáceres, Spain)
AbstractRoot and crown rot (Tristeza disease) is an increasing problem for red pepper crop in La Vera region (Cáceres, western Spain). Field surveys were carried on in 2006 and 2007 to identify the causal agents of this disease. A Phytophthora species was isolated from diseased plants in most of the surveyed fields (27 of 36 in 2006 and 15 of 16 in 2007), while Verticillium spp. were not detected. Fifteen Phytophthora isolates were examined and identified as P. nicotianae, all of them were heterothalic isolates of mating type A2. Pathogenicity tests conducted on 'Jaranda' red pepper plants developed symptoms of wilt and root and crown rot, although disease severity differed significantly (P < 0.001) among isolates. Results indicate that P. nicotianae is the principal causal agent of the Tristeza disease of red pepper plants in La Vera region and this has several implications for the development of future disease management strategies. The host range of isolates from red pepper plants should be studied in order to establish suitable crop rotation in this region.
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