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Survey Reveals a Broad Range of Fungal Pathogens and an Oomycete on Peonies in the United States

A. R. Garfinkel and G. A. Chastagner

November 2019


Peonies, Paeonia lactiflora and hybrids, are popular ornamental plants grown in landscapes and as cut flowers. As with many ornamental plants, the information on the etiology of peony diseases is incomplete with varying amounts of detailed descriptive material; sometimes validation of Koch’s postulates is also lacking. In a survey to identify the range of diseases of peony in the United States, samples were obtained from 12 states. Fungal and oomycete plant pathogens recovered from symptomatic, diseased tissue were identified by morphology and BLAST identification of the internal transcribed spacer, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, the 28s large subunit, and/or cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene nucleotide sequences for representative isolates. Ten fungal or oomycete genera were identified, and Koch’s postulates were confirmed for selected plant pathogens found during this survey. New disease reports are generated for several states, including five genera never previously reported on peonies in the United States: a Botryosphaeria sp., multiple Colletotrichum spp., Mycocentrospora acerina, a Phoma sp., and Pilidium concavum. The information gained from this survey will provide plant disease diagnosticians and growers a more comprehensive resource for understanding the regional prevalence of peony diseases and subsequently making better disease management decisions.


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