CONTAMINATION OF MOTH MULLEIN VERBASCUM BLATTARIA L SEEDS BY PHOMA NOVAEVERBASCICOLA
D. Bertetti, G. Ortu, M.L. Gullino, A. Garibaldi
Verbascum blattaria (Scrophulariaceae family) is a hardy perennial species that is used for the edges and flower beds of low-maintenance gardens. Phoma novae-verbascicola causes light brown necrotic spots on the leaves of V. blattaria seedlings. In order to demonstrate the seed transmission of this pathogen, several V. blattaria seeds belonging to three samples collected in 2013, were tested in vitro to detect the presence of P. novae- verbascicola. Two samples were found to be contaminated and colonies of the pathogen were isolated from the tested seeds. Phoma novae-verbascicola was identified from the morphological features observed in vitro and through an ITS (Internal Transcribed Spacer) analysis. The virulence of one isolate was confirmed by means of a pathogenicity test. This work demonstrates that P. novae-verbascicola can be transmitted by affected V. blattaria seeds.