The Indian laurel-leaf fig (Ficus microcarpa) is an important ornamental tree widely distributed in the urban areas of Italy. Surveys conducted in 2019 and 2020 on several tree-lined streets, squares, and public parks in Catania and Siracusa provinces (Sicily, southern Italy) revealed the presence of a new disease on mature trees. About 9% of approximately 450 mature plants showed extensive branch cankers and dieback. Isolations from woody tissues obtained from ten symptomatic plants consistently yielded species belonging to the Botryosphaeriaceae family. The identification of the recovered fungal isolates was based on a multi-loci phylogenetic (maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood) approach of the ITS, tef1-α, and tub2 gene regions. The results of the analyses confirmed the presence of three species: Botryosphaeria dothidea, Neofusicoccum mediterraneum, and N. parvum. Pathogenicity tests were conducted on potted, healthy, 4-year-old trees using the mycelial plug technique. The inoculation experiments revealed that all the Botryosphaeriaceae species identified in this study were pathogenic to this host. Previous studies conducted in California showed similar disease caused by Botryosphaeriaceae spp., and the pathogenic role of these fungi was demonstrated. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Botryosphaeriaceae affecting Ficus microcarpa in Europe.

A New Disease for Europe of Ficus microcarpa Caused by Botryosphaeriaceae Species

Aiello D.;Costanzo M. B.;Gusella G.
;
Polizzi G.
2022-01-01

Abstract

The Indian laurel-leaf fig (Ficus microcarpa) is an important ornamental tree widely distributed in the urban areas of Italy. Surveys conducted in 2019 and 2020 on several tree-lined streets, squares, and public parks in Catania and Siracusa provinces (Sicily, southern Italy) revealed the presence of a new disease on mature trees. About 9% of approximately 450 mature plants showed extensive branch cankers and dieback. Isolations from woody tissues obtained from ten symptomatic plants consistently yielded species belonging to the Botryosphaeriaceae family. The identification of the recovered fungal isolates was based on a multi-loci phylogenetic (maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood) approach of the ITS, tef1-α, and tub2 gene regions. The results of the analyses confirmed the presence of three species: Botryosphaeria dothidea, Neofusicoccum mediterraneum, and N. parvum. Pathogenicity tests were conducted on potted, healthy, 4-year-old trees using the mycelial plug technique. The inoculation experiments revealed that all the Botryosphaeriaceae species identified in this study were pathogenic to this host. Previous studies conducted in California showed similar disease caused by Botryosphaeriaceae spp., and the pathogenic role of these fungi was demonstrated. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Botryosphaeriaceae affecting Ficus microcarpa in Europe.
2022
Botryosphaeriaceae
Canker
Dieback
Ficus microcarpa
Indian laurel-leaf fig
Phylogeny
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/523558
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