Citrus species native to the far-east of Asia have been introduced into the Mediterranean area as cultivated plants since time immemorial and are grown on a large scale for their fruits, and presently they characterize the Sicilian landscape. Two exceptional climatic events, a hail storm on t 7th March, 2012 and on 9th March hurricane Athos, with blasts of wind with a speed of 80-100 km/h, hit the southern-east coastal area of Sicily. As a consequence, severe fruit brown rot infections were observed on the higher part of the canopy up to 3.4 m above soil level in citrus groves. Fruit symptoms were associated with leaf blight and severe defoliation of the trees. In the past, these kinds of aerial infections of citrus brown rot in Sicily had been attributed to Phytophthora hybernalis on the basis of symptomatic diagnosis. However, a survey of citrus orchards affected by these exceptional climatic events using molecular diagnostic methods demonstrated that the causal agent of this epidemic burst of brown rot was actually P. citrophthora (Smith & Smith) Leonian. This species is endemic in citrus orchards in Sicily and is the major causal agent of trunk gummosis, root rot and occasional epidemic outbreaks of fruit brown rot of citrus occurring from late autumn to early spring, which is the rainy period in the Mediterranean climate. P. citrophthora is typically a soil-borne pathogen and usually infects fruits of the lower part of the canopy near the soil up to 1 m.
|Titolo:||Air-borne infections of fruit brown rot of citrus in Sicily|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.2 Abstract in Atti di convegno|