Palmero Llamas, Daniel and Rodriguez, J.M. and Cara Garcia, Miguel de and Camacho Ferre, Francisco and Iglesias Gonzalez, Concepcion and Tello Marquina, Julio
Fungal microbiota from rain water and pathogenicity of Fusarium species isolated from atmospheric dust and rainfall dust.
"Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology", v. 38
In order to determine the presence of Fusarium spp. in atmospheric dust and rainfall dust, samples were collected during September 2007, and July, August, and October 2008. The results reveal the prevalence of airborne Fusarium species coming from the atmosphere of the South East coast of Spain. Five different Fusarium species were isolated from the settling dust: Fusarium oxysporum, F. solani, F. equiseti, F. dimerum, and F. proliferatum. Moreover, rainwater samples were obtained during significant rainfall events in January and February 2009. Using the dilution-plate method, 12 fungal genera were identified from these rainwater samples. Specific analyses of the rainwater revealed the presence of three species of Fusarium: F. oxysporum, F. proliferatum and F. equiseti. A total of 57 isolates of Fusarium spp. obtained from both rainwater and atmospheric rainfall dust sampling were inoculated onto melon (Cucumis melo L.) cv. Piñonet and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) cv. San Pedro. These species were chosen because they are the main herbaceous crops in Almeria province. The results presented in this work indicate strongly that spores or propagules of Fusarium are able to cross the continental barrier carried by winds from the Sahara (Africa) to crop or coastal lands in Europe. Results show differences in the pathogenicity of the isolates tested. Both hosts showed root rot when inoculated with different species of Fusarium, although fresh weight measurements did not bring any information about the pathogenicity. The findings presented above are strong indications that long-distance transmission of Fusarium propagules may occur. Diseases caused by species of Fusarium are common in these areas. They were in the past, and are still today, a problem for greenhouses crops in Almería, and many species have been listed as pathogens on agricultural crops in this region. Saharan air masses dominate the Mediterranean regions. The evidence of long distance dispersal of Fusarium spp. by atmospheric dust and rainwater together with their proved pathogenicity must be taken into account in epidemiological studies.