First report of powdery mildew (Microsphaera palczewskii) onSiberian pea tree (Caragana arborescens) in North America

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Plant Disease



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Caragana arborescens Lam. is an exotic ornamental that can also be somewhat invasive. In July 2002, powdery mildew was observed on C. arborescens along the Idaho-Washington border in Moscow and Pullman, respectively. Leaves were colonized as soon as they emerged, and entire plants were affected. The fungus covered both leaf surfaces, but cleistothecia were more abundant on abaxial surfaces. The mean diameter of the cleistothecia was 91 (± 9.8) μm. Short-stalked asci averaged 67 (± 7.1) μm × 37 (± 5.2) μm, and the ascospores were 21 (± 2.0) μm × 13 (± 0.8) μm. There are records of four species of Microsphaera on C. arborescens in Europe and Asia. The measurements fit the description of Microsphaera palczewskii Jacz. (1), and the identification was confirmed by comparison with specimens of this fungus on C. arborescens from Sweden (U.S. National Fungus Collections: BPI 749057 and 749058). Specimens of M. grossulariae (Wallr. ex Fr.) Lev. on Ribes divaricatum Dougl. from California (BPI 558266) were also examined, but the cleistothecial appendages were distinctly different from those of the Idaho specimens. To our knowledge, this is the first reported occurrence in North America of powdery mildew on C. arborescens and the first report of M. palczewskii. The latter may have been introduced recently into North America because there are areas in southern Canada and the northern United States in which C. arborescens is unaffected by powdery mildew. Interestingly, it is only in recent decades that M. palczewskii has spread from Asia into Europe (2). Now, host and parasite have been reunited in North America as well. Specimens have been deposited in the U.S. National Fungus Collections (BPI).

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