Vol. 61 No. 2 (2022)
Articles

Fig rust caused by Phakopsora nishidana in South Africa

Willem H.P. BOSHOFF
Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300
Botma VISSER
Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300
Cornel M. BENDER
Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300
Alan R. WOOD
ARC-Plant Health & Protection, Private Bag X5017, Stellenbosch 7599
Lisa ROTHMANN
Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300
Keith WILSON
Akkerdal Farm, Piketberg 7320
Victor HAMILTON-ATTWELL
Hermanus Botanical Society, Private Bag X16, Hermanus 7200
Zacharias A. PRETORIUS
Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300
Published July 19, 2022
Keywords
  • Cerotelium fici,
  • Ficus carica,
  • host response,
  • infection,
  • phylogenetic analysis
How to Cite
[1]
W. H. BOSHOFF, “Fig rust caused by Phakopsora nishidana in South Africa”, Phytopathol. Mediterr., vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 283-298, Jul. 2022.

Abstract

Fig rust, caused by Cerotelium fici, was first recorded in South Africa in 1927. Recent observations have revealed high incidence of rust and untimely defoliation of fig trees (Ficus carica) in residential gardens and commercial orchards. Using phylogenetic analysis, the causal organism of a fig rust isolate (PREM63073) collected in 2020 was confirmed as Phakopsora nishidana. Inoculation and microscope studies showed that mulberry plants were immune to P. nishidana isolate PREM63073. Infection of fig leaves occurred through stomata on the abaxial leaf surfaces. Very long germ tubes were observed for P. nishidana, often with no clear contact with the leaf surfaces and an apparent lack of directional growth towards stomata. Inoculated plants from 15 fig cultivars varied in their severity of leaf infection, whereas fruit of the cultivar Kadota developed reddish-brown blemishes without sporulation. Currently, C. fici and P. nishidana are recognised as occurring on F. carica in South Africa. This suggests a need to resolve the worldwide distribution and identity of the rust species involved.

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