Research Article

The Eucalyptus shoot and leaf pathogen Teratosphaeria destructans recorded in South Africa

Published in: Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science
Volume 78, issue 2, 2016 , pages: 123–129
DOI: 10.2989/20702620.2015.1136504
Author(s): Izette GreylingForestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, South Africa, Michael J WingfieldForestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, South Africa, Martin PA CoetzeeForestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), Department of Genetics, South Africa, Seonju MarincowitzForestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, South Africa, Jolanda RouxForestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), Department of Plant Sciences, South Africa

Abstract

Species of Teratosphaeria include some of the most important fungal pathogens of plantation-grown eucalypt trees. During routine disease surveys, symptoms and signs of leaf spot and blight were observed on the foliage of one-year-old E. grandis × E. urophylla hybrids in the Zululand region of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. These were distinct from those caused by the well-known and leaf-infecting fungus Teratosphaeria suttonii, which is not considered an important pathogen in the country. Culture and morphological characteristics as well as DNA sequences for three gene regions were used to compare the fungus isolated from the newly emerging symptoms with those for known Teratosphaeria species. DNA sequences were the same as those for T. destructans and this was consistent with the distinctive morphology of the asexual spores and the symptoms on leaves. Teratosphaeria destructans is an aggressive pathogen and actions will be needed to ensure that it does not impart serious losses to the local forestry industry.

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