First record of Epicoccum andropogonis growing on Paspalum dilatatum ergot in Iran
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Paspalum dilatatum spikelets with ergot symptoms were collected from Rice Research Institute of Iran in Rasht, Guilan province during the fall of 2018. Ergot symptoms usually are caused by different Claviceps species on grasses. Sclerotia of ergot were globular in shape, black in color and irregularly roughened on the surface that resembles a brain. Different fungi were isolated from the ergot symptoms such as Alternaria species mostly. Some isolates were identified as Epicoccum based on the morphological features. Morphological characteristics of the isolates were studied on both host substrate and culture media (potato dextrose agar, oat meal agar and malt extract agar) in vitro. Shape, color and size of conidia of fungus grown on host substrate (ergot) were similar to the grown conidia on culture media in vitro condition. This fungus was identified as Epicoccumandropogonis based on molecular data of ITS-rDNA sequence, morphological characteristics and host specificity, which usually grown on Claviceps honeydew and immature sclerotia and can be consider as an indicator of ergot disease on grasses. This is the first report of ergot symptoms on P. dilatatum as well as E. andropogonis species from Iran.

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