First report of powdery mildew (Sawadaea bicornis) on Norwaymaple (Acer platanoides) in North America

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Plant Disease



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Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.) was introduced into the continental United States around 1756 as a street tree (2). It is a widely planted shade tree in the northern United States and Canada due to its fast growth rate when young and its tolerance of pavement and dry soils. Powdery mildew is common on Norway maple in Europe with records from at least 22 countries according to the databases of the U.S. National Fungus Collections. However, there are no North American records. In September 2002, powdery mildew was observed on young Norway maple trees along the Idaho-Washington border in Moscow and Pullman, respectively. Mildew was not observed on older Norway maple trees. The mildew occurred mainly on the upper leaf surface as patches of dense, white mycelium with scattered or gregarious cleistothecia. Mean diameter of the cleistothecia was 146 (± 13.4) μm. Short stalked and subsessile asci averaged 69 (± 4.1) μm × 48 (± 5.4) μm. Ascospores averaged 27 (± 3.2) μm × 12 (±0.9) μm. Appendages were deeply cleft, simple, or one to three times dichotomously branched. This mildew fits the description of the European species Sawadaea bicornis (Wallr:Fr.) Homma (1). Also, conforming to S. bicornis were chains of macroconidia (21 (± 2.7) × 14 (± 1.5) μm) and microconida. Fibrosin bodies were seen in both. Infection of only some young trees and its absence in previous years lead us to believe that the introduction is recent in the Pacific Northwest. The susceptibility of native maples to the Norway maple mildew remains to be determined. Specimens have been deposited in the U.S. National Fungus Collections (BPI 842088).

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