Characterization of weeds and rotational crops as alternative hosts of Spongospora subterranea, the causal agent of powdery scab in Israel

L. Tsror, R. Shapira, O. Erlich, M. Hazanovsky, S. Lebiush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Alternative hosts of Spongospora subterranea may allow multiplication and survival of the pathogen over time; thus, host range is important from an epidemiological aspect. Weeds and rotational crops, such as wheat and barley, were sampled from potato fields with a history of powdery scab (PS) and examined for the presence of S. subterranea by root staining followed by microscopic observations and by qPCR analysis after DNA extraction. The pathogen was detected in plants of 16 weed species from eight families and in volunteer plants of potato and wheat. The ability of the pathogen to infect weeds and rotational crops was further examined by artificial inoculations with sporosori in pot experiments. Successful inoculations occurred with 13 weed species from eight families and with 12 rotational crops from five families. The findings of this study indicate a wide host range in Israel; the families Malvaceae and Zygophyllaceae and the following species are reported for the first time as S. subterranea hosts: Solanum elaeagnifolium, Triticum aestivum, Cynodon dactylon, Phalaris paradoxa, Phalaris minor, Setaria verticillata, Rostaria cristata, Sinapis nigra, Arachis hypogaea, Medicago sativa, Astragalus hauraensis, Amaranthus albus, Chenopodium murale, Chenopodium opulifolium, Salsola soda, Malva nicaeensis, Chrysanthemum segetum, Verbesina encelioides, Ammi majus and Tribulus terrestris. Controlling weeds and avoiding the relevant rotational crops observed to be S. subterranea-positive and thus potential hosts, should be taken into consideration in the management of PS, to reduce pathogen inoculum build-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-301
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Solanum spp.
  • potato
  • soilborne pathogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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