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Summa Phytopathologica

Print version ISSN 0100-5405


BAPTISTA, F.R.; PIRES-ZOTTARELLI, C.L.A; TEIXEIRA, L.D.  and  SANTOS JUNIOR, N.A.. In vitro pathogenic evaluation of Pythium middletonii Sparrow and Pythium dissotocum Drechsler in lettuce. Summa phytopathol. [online]. 2011, vol.37, n.1, pp.52-58. ISSN 0100-5405.

Root infections in hydroponic lettuce are frequent and mostly caused by Pythium species, which are extremely well adapted to aquatic environments. The present study aimed to evaluate in vitro the pathogenic potential of Pythium middletonii and Pythium dissotocum in four cultivars of lettuce, Elisa (smooth), Vera (curly), Mimosa (mimosa) and Tainá (American). Lettuce seeds from each cultivar were superficially disinfected, pre-germinated for 24 hours and placed on the water agar medium surface. Then, a dish containing mycelium from Pythium isolates was placed in the center of each plate. Control consisted of plates containing lettuce seeds only. Experimental design was completely randomized, with five replicates, each one represented by a Petri dish. Hypocotyl and radical length besides surviving seedlings percentage after ten days of incubation were evaluated. The experiment was carried out, at different temperatures, and the pathogenicity of the isolates was investigated at the ideal temperature for the lettuce (20ºC), and at the ideal temperatures for the growth of the isolates, 23ºC for P. middletonii and 27ºC for P. dissotocum. At 20ºC, P. dissotocum had higher pathogenicity on lettuce cultivars than P. middletonii, significantly decreasing the length of hypocotyls, especially radicles, of most cultivars. For P. dissotocum, 27ºC was the most suitable temperature for the specimen growth; however, it led to the lowest percentage of surviving seedlings among all cultivars, with the lowest percentage (54%) detected for Vera. Among the cultivars, Mimosa presented higher percentage of survivor seedlings and higher length of radicles in relation to the control, and thus was considered less susceptible to the pathogen. P. dissotocum presented higher mycelium growth and was more pathogenic than P. middletonii in all experiments.

Keywords : Pythium spp; Lactuca sativa L; hydroponics; pathogenicity.

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