Morphological and Pathogenic Characterization of Sclerotium rolfsii, the Causal Agent of Southern Blight Disease on Common Bean in Uganda. uri icon

abstract

  • Over the last 5 years, Southern blight caused by Sclerotium rolfsii Sacc. has superseded root rots caused by pathogens such as Fusarium and Pythium spp. as a major constraint of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) production in Uganda. Although S. rolfsii is prevalent in all bean-growing regions of Uganda, there is a lack of information about its diversity and pathogenicity to guide the development of effective management strategies. In total, 348 S. rolfsii isolates were obtained from bean fields in seven agroecological zones of Uganda, with the following objectives: to characterize their morphology, based on mycelial growth rate, mycelium texture, and number of sclerotia; and to determine the pathogenicity of 75 selected isolates on five common bean varieties in artificially inoculated soils in a screenhouse. We found that mycelial growth rate and the number of sclerotia produced on artificial media varied among agroecological zones but not within a zone. The five bean varieties tested were found to be susceptible to S. rolfsii, including varieties MLB49-89A and RWR719 that are resistant to Fusarium and Pythium root rots, respectively. Preemergence damping-off ranged between 0 and 100%, and disease severity index ranged between 4.4 and 100%. The wide-spread and high levels of S. rolfsii virulence on varieties of common bean indicate that management intervention is urgently required to help reduce losses incurred by Ugandan smallholder farmers.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020