Vol. 60 No. 1 (2021)

Infection of papaya (Carica papaya) by four powdery mildew fungi

Plant Protection Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research, Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH), 1525 Budapest, P.O. Box 102, Hungary
Plant Protection Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research, Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH), 1525 Budapest, P.O. Box 102, Hungary / Eötvös Loránd University, Institute of Biology, Department of Plant Anatomy, Budapest, Hungary
Orsolya MOLNÁR
Plant Protection Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research, Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH), 1525 Budapest, P.O. Box 102, Hungary
Plant Protection Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research, Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH), 1525 Budapest, P.O. Box 102, Hungary
Published May 13, 2021
  • Carica,
  • Erysiphales,
  • Erysiphe necator,
  • host range expansion,
  • phylogenetic analysis,
  • Pseudoidium
  • ...More
How to Cite
D. SERESS, G. M. KOVÁCS, O. MOLNÁR, and M. Z. NÉMETH, “Infection of papaya (Carica papaya) by four powdery mildew fungi”, Phytopathol. Mediterr., vol. 60, no. 1, pp. 37-49, May 2021.


Papaya (Carica papaya L.) is an important fruit crop in many tropical and subtropical countries. Powdery mildew commonly affects this host, causing premature leaf loss, reduced yields and poor fruit quality. At least fifteen different fungi have been identified as the causal agents of papaya powdery mildew. Powdery mildew symptoms were detected on potted papaya plants growing in two locations in Hungary. This study aimed to identify the causal agents. Morphology of powdery mildew samples was examined, and sequences of two loci were used for molecular taxonomic identifications. Only anamophs were detected in all samples, and four morphological types were distinguished. Most samples had Pseudoidium anamorphs, while some were of the Fibroidium anamorph. Based on morphology and molecular taxonomy, the Fibroidium anamorph  was identified as Podosphaera xanthii. The Pseudoidium anamorphs corresponded to three different Erysiphe species: E. cruciferarum, E. necator and an unidentified Erysiphe sp., for which molecular phylogenetic analyses showed it belonged to an unresolved species complex of E. malvae, E. heraclei and E. betae. Infectivity of P. xanthii and E. necator on papaya was verified with cross inoculations. A review of previous records of powdery mildew fungi infecting papaya is also provided. Podosphaera xanthii was known to infect, and E. cruciferarum was suspected to infect Carica papaya, while E. necator was recorded on this host only once previously. No powdery mildew fungus belonging to the E. malvae/E. heraclei/E. betae species complex is known to infect papaya or any other plants in the Caricaceae, so the unidentified Erysiphe sp. is a new record on papaya and the Caricaceae. This study indicates host range expansion of this powdery mildew fungus onto papaya.


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