Passion fruit (Passiflora edulis Sims.) is an ever-increasing interest crop in Italy because it is mainly cultivated for its edible fruit and, secondly, as an ornamental evergreen climber. During the summer of 2020, two-year-old plants of purple passion fruit in one of the most important expanding production areas of Sicily (southern Italy) showed symptoms of yellowing, wilting, and vascular discoloration. Fusarium-like fungal colonies were consistently yielded from symptomatic crown and stem tissues. Five representative isolates were characterized by a morphological and molecular analysis based on a multilocus phylogeny using RNA polymerase’s second largest subunit (RPB2) and translation elongation factor 1-alpha (EF-1α) genes, as Fusarium nirenbergiae (Fusarium oxysporum species complex). Pathogenicity tests conducted on healthy 1-year-old passion fruit cuttings revealed symptoms similar to those observed in the field. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Fusarium wilt on passion fruit caused by Fusarium nirenbergiae. This report focuses on the phytopathological implications of this fungal pathogen, which may represent a future significant threat for the expanding passion fruit production in Italy and Europe.

Fusarium nirenbergiae (Fusarium oxysporum Species Complex) Causing the Wilting of Passion Fruit in Italy

Aiello, Dalia;Fiorenza, Alberto;Vitale, Alessandro
;
Polizzi, Giancarlo
2021-01-01

Abstract

Passion fruit (Passiflora edulis Sims.) is an ever-increasing interest crop in Italy because it is mainly cultivated for its edible fruit and, secondly, as an ornamental evergreen climber. During the summer of 2020, two-year-old plants of purple passion fruit in one of the most important expanding production areas of Sicily (southern Italy) showed symptoms of yellowing, wilting, and vascular discoloration. Fusarium-like fungal colonies were consistently yielded from symptomatic crown and stem tissues. Five representative isolates were characterized by a morphological and molecular analysis based on a multilocus phylogeny using RNA polymerase’s second largest subunit (RPB2) and translation elongation factor 1-alpha (EF-1α) genes, as Fusarium nirenbergiae (Fusarium oxysporum species complex). Pathogenicity tests conducted on healthy 1-year-old passion fruit cuttings revealed symptoms similar to those observed in the field. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Fusarium wilt on passion fruit caused by Fusarium nirenbergiae. This report focuses on the phytopathological implications of this fungal pathogen, which may represent a future significant threat for the expanding passion fruit production in Italy and Europe.
wilt; passion fruit; Fusarium oxysporum species complex
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/512683
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