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Open AccessCommunication

Uncovering the Host Range for Maize Pathogen Magnaporthiopsis maydis

by Shlomit Dor 1,2 and Ofir Degani 1,2,*
1
Tel-Hai College, Upper Galilee, Tel-Hai 12210, Israel
2
Migal-Galilee Research Institute, Tarshish 2, Kiryat Shmona 11016, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2019, 8(8), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8080259
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 18 July 2019 / Accepted: 26 July 2019 / Published: 30 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Diagnostics of Fungal and Oomycete Plant Pathogens)
The fungus Magnaporthiopsis maydis is a soil-borne, seed-borne vascular wilt pathogen that causes severe damage to sensitive Zea mays L. (maize) hybrids throughout Egypt, Israel, India, Spain, and other countries. It can undergo virulence variations and survive as spores, sclerotia, or mycelia on plant residues. Maize, Lupinus termis L. (lupine) and Gossypium hirsutum L. (cotton) are the only known hosts of M. maydis. Identification of new plant hosts that can assist in the survival of the pathogen is an essential step in restricting disease outbreak and spread. Here, by field survey and growth chamber pathogenicity test, accompanied by real-time PCR analysis, the presence of the fungal DNA inside the roots of cotton (Pima cv.) plants was confirmed in infested soil. Moreover, we identified M. maydis in Setaria viridis (green foxtail) and Citrullus lanatus (watermelon, Malali cv.). Infected watermelon sprouts had delayed emergence and development, were shorter, and had reduced root and shoot biomass. M. maydis infection also affected root biomass and phenological development of cotton plants but caused only mild symptoms in green foxtail. No M. maydis DNA was detected in Hordeum vulgare (barley, Noga cv.) and the plants showed no disease symptoms except for reduced shoot weight. These findings are an important step towards uncovering the host range and endophytic behavior of M. maydis, encouraging expanding this evaluation to other plant species. View Full-Text
Keywords: barley; cotton; fungus; host plant; late wilt; Magnaporthiopsis maydis; maize; quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR); Setaria viridis; watermelon barley; cotton; fungus; host plant; late wilt; Magnaporthiopsis maydis; maize; quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR); Setaria viridis; watermelon
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Dor, S.; Degani, O. Uncovering the Host Range for Maize Pathogen Magnaporthiopsis maydis. Plants 2019, 8, 259.

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