A survey of poplar (populus nigra) rust and identification of fungal agent species with conventional and molecular approaches in Maragheh area of Iran. 

Seyed Mohsen Damadi

ABSTRACT

In a survey for rust diseases in Maragheh area rust symptoms were observed on poplars (Populus nigra) in Maragheh city parks and orchards near the city. Uredinia and urediniospores typical of Melampsora were present on the underside of leaves. Paraphyses were clavate with walls evenly thick and Telia, formed on the leaves early in the autumn, were epiphyllous and subepidermal. DNA was extracted from urediniospores and the primers ITS1 and ITS4 were used to amplify the internal transcribed spacer region of the ribosomal DNA. Based on the key provided by Bagyanarayana and the species description by Pei and Shang, and the result of sequencing, the causal agent was identified as Melampsora allii-populina Kelb.  Melampsora species are mainly determined based on their morphology, alternate hosts and telial host range. However, in most cases, only one or two spore stages could be found at the time of observation and there is no information of the alternate hosts. This is the first study of poplar rust disease to the species level in the area.  Rust disease is likely to be the most important disease on poplar in this area. As poplar rust can cause severe damages to nursery plants and young trees, there must be further research to understand the epidemiology of the rust disease. A key question to be answered is whether the rust goes through a full life-cycle, possible via known alternate host Allium spp. or only uredinial and telial stages are present in the studied area.

Keywords: Melampsora, Poplar,  leaf , rust,  rDNA

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