First Report of Fusarium proliferatum Causing Garlic clove Rot in Russian Federation

Plant Dis. 2021 Apr 9. doi: 10.1094/PDIS-12-20-2743-PDN. Online ahead of print.


Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is a widely consumed bulbous crop both worldwide and in Russia. About 200,000 tons of garlic is produced in Russia annually ( Significant pre- and post-harvest losses of garlic regularly occur due to Fusarium sp. (Taylor et al., 2013). Since September 2018, rotting has been observed in Russia during garlic bulb storage (data of the Federal Scientific Vegetable Center, FSVC, Moscow Region). The outer bulb surface looked healthy, but underneath the integumentary scales, the cloves had light brown and brown spots. When grown, diseased plants were characterized by root and bulb disruption and leaf drying; for some cultivars, up to 100% of plants died. In January 2020, cv. Strelets and Dubkovsky bulbs, collected in July 2019, with rot symptoms, were taken from the FSVC storage. Necrotic clove tissue fragments (0.2-0.5 cm) were cut, sanitized with 70% ethanol for 3 min, rinsed with sterile water, and incubated on potato dextrose agar (PDA) with 1 mg/ml ampicillin at 22°C in the dark. Four single-spore cultures were obtained from four diseased bulbs. After 6 days of incubation, the isolates produced abundant aerial white mycelia and acquired a purple pigmentation. The hyphae were hyaline with septation. All isolates (Dubkovsky, Dubkovsky 2, Strelets, and Strelets 2) produced numerous oval unicellular microconidia without septa, 4.1 to 11.6 × 1.3 to 3.4 µm (n = 50) and very few macroconidia with 3-4 septa (21 to 26 × 3 to 4 µm (n = 30)), narrowed at both ends. The cultural and conidial characteristics of the isolates corresponded to Fusarium species (Leslie and Summerell 2006). To determine the species, DNA was extracted from four isolates, and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS), and genes of translation elongation factor 1α (EF1α) and subunits 1 and 2 of DNA-directed RNA polymerase II (RPB1 and RPB2) were amplified and sequenced with primers ITS1/ITS4 (White et al. 1990), EF1/EF2 (O'Donnell et al. 1998a), RPB1-F5/RPB1-R8 (O'Donnell et al. 2010) and fRPB2-5F/fRPB2-7cR (Liu et al. 1999). The obtained sequences were identical for all four isolates. The isolate Strelets sequences were deposited in NCBI GenBank (MW149129 (ITS), MW161161 (EF1α), MW413302 (RPB1) and MW413303 (RPB2)); their analysis in MLST ( showed 98.8-99.8% similarity to F. proliferatum (NRRL 13582, 13598 and others), which is part of the F. fujikuroi complex (O'Donnell et al. 1998b). The test on pathogenicity was performed two times according to (Leyronas et al. 2018). For this, three replicates of 10 cloves (cv. Strelets) were soaked in a conidial suspension (~106 conidia/ml; Strelets isolate) for 24 h. Ten control cloves were soaked in sterile water. The cloves were incubated on Petri dishes (5 cloves on a dish; on filter paper wettened with sterile water) in the dark at 23°C. After 5 days, brown lesions and white mycelium developed on the surface of the treated cloves. The taxonomic status of the fungus isolated from necrotic tissue was determined as F. proliferatum according to the ITS, EF1α, RPB1 and RPB2 analysis. Garlic basal and bulb rot is known to be caused by F. oxysporum f. sp. cepae and F. proliferatum (Snowdon 1990). This study is the first report of F. proliferatum causing rot of garlic bulbs during storage in Russia. F. proliferatum produces a variety of mycotoxins during bulb infestation, and our findings are important for diagnosing a Fusarium disease and the use of garlic crop in culinary and medicine. Funding The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project number 20-316-70009. References: Leslie, J. F., and Summerell, B. A. 2006. Page 224 in: The Fusarium Laboratory Manual. Blackwell, Oxford, UK. Leyronas, C., et al. 2018. Plant Dis. 102:2658 Liu, Y.J. et al. 1999. Mol. Biol. Evol. 16: 1799 O'Donnell, K, et al. 1998a. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 95(5):2044. O'Donnell, et al. 1998b. Mycologia 90:465 O'Donnell, K., et al. 2010. J. Clin. Microbiol., 48: 3708 Snowdon, A. L. Pages 250-252 in: A Color Atlas of Post-Harvest Diseases and Disorders of Fruits and Vegetables. Vol. 1. 1990. Wolfe Scientific, London. Taylor, A, et al. 2013. Plant Pathol. 62:103. White, T. J., et al. 1990. Page 315 in: PCR Protocols: A Guide to Methods and Applications. Academic Press, San Diego, CA.

Keywords: Causal Agent; Crop Type; Fungi; Fusarium proliferatum; Pathogen detection; Subject Areas; Vegetables; garlic.