First Report of Plumeria spp. Rust Caused by Coleosporium plumeriae in Louisiana and Malaysia and Catheranthus roseus, a New Host of this Rust

Plant Dis. 2010 Feb;94(2):272. doi: 10.1094/PDIS-94-2-0272C.


Plumeria spp., native to tropical America, are popular small trees grown widely in tropical areas of the world and as potted plants elsewhere. P. rubra and P. obtusa cultivars and hybrids are most common. A rust disease of a Plumeria sp. (likely P. rubra based on pointed leaf tips, leaves more than 18 cm (7 inches) long, and high rust susceptibility) was observed in November 2008 and again in June 2009 on homeowner plants in Baton Rouge, LA. A survey of five Baton Rouge retail nurseries in September 2009 revealed that 87% (90 of 103) of the plumeria plants were heavily infected with rust. Early symptoms included numerous 1-mm chlorotic spots on adaxial leaf surfaces followed by leaf chlorosis, necrosis, and abscission. Uredinia were numerous, mostly hypophyllous and yellowish orange. Urediniospores were catenulate, orange en masse, verrucose, globose, ovoid, ellipsoidal or angular, and measured 21.8 to 41.9 × 16.4 to 32.8 μm (average 29.4 × 22.6 μm). The rust was identified as Coleosporium plumeriae Pat. (= C. plumierae) (3). Teliospores were not found during this study. Pathogenicity tests were performed by spraying urediniospores (20,000/ml of deionized water) on three healthy Thai hybrid plumeria plants. Five leaves of each plant were misted with water and covered with plastic bags and three to five leaves were inoculated. Plants were held at 27°C for 27 h in a dew chamber and then moved outdoors. Typical rust symptoms and uredinia with urediniospores developed in 10 days on all inoculated leaves while noninoculated leaves remained healthy. Characteristics and spore measurements matched those of the rust from original infected plants. Additional plumeria rust inoculations were made to other Apocynaceae family members that included Allamanda cathartica, Catheranthus roseus (Madagascar periwinkle), Mandevilla splendens, Nerium oleander, and Vinca major. Catheranthus roseus was very susceptible to C. plumeriae with chlorotic leaf spots developing on the six inoculated plants after 8 days and uredinia with urediniospores appearing after 11 days. None of the other plant genera were susceptible to the rust. Plumeria rust was also observed on plumeria trees in urban landscapes in peninsular (Penang) and Bornean (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah) Malaysia in December 2007. To confirm identity, ~1,000 bp of nuclear rDNA 28S subunit from each (Lousiana, Penang, and Kota Kinabalu) was sequenced with rust-specific primers (1) and shared 100% identity (GenBank No. GU145555-6). Plumeria rust was first found on the island of Guadeloupe (3) and then spread to Central and South America. It has been known from Florida since 1960 under the synonym C. domingense (2), but has not been reported elsewhere in the continental United States. In more recent years, plumeria rust has spread to Hawaii, many Pacific islands, India, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, and Nigeria (4). To our knowledge, this is the first report of plumeria rust from Louisiana and Malaysia and of susceptibility of another member of the Apocynaceae, Madagascar periwinkle, to C. plumeriae. Voucher material from Louisiana and Malaysia has been deposited in the Mycology Herbarium of Louisiana State University (LSUM). References: (1) M. C. Aime. Mycoscience 47:112, 2006. (2) Anonymous. Index of Plant Diseases in the United States. U.S. Dept. Agric. Handb. No. 165. Washington, D.C., 1960. (3) N. Patouillard. Bull. Soc. Mycol. Fr. 18:171, 1902. (4) C. To-Anun et al. Nat. Hist. J. Chulalongkorn Univ. 4:41, 2004.