GNOMONIOPSIS CASTANEA sp. nov. (GNOMONIACEAE, DIAPORTHALES) AS THE CAUSAL AGENT OF NUT ROT IN SWEET CHESTNUT

I. Visentin, S. Gentile, D. Valentino, P. Gonthier, G. Tamietti, F. Cardinale

Abstract


The genus Gnomoniopsis (Gnomoniaceae, Diaporthales) is currently composed of 13 species which are endophytic and/or parasitic to plants in the families Fagaceae, Onagraceae and Rosaceae. Species definition is based on a combination of morphological traits, association with specific plant hosts, and phylogeny. In this paper a new species, Gnomoniopsis castanea sp. nov., is described based on the association with Castanea sativa (a plant species never reported to be infected by fungi the genus Gnomoniopsis), morphology and phylogenetic analysis of the ITS region of ribosomal DNA and on the EF1-a locus. The fungus is consistently associated with nut rot and caused the disease when artificially inoculated to fruits or flowers. Infection incidence varied depending on the orchard and the year and attained up to 83% of the nuts in some areas of north-western Italy. The fungus was also consistently isolated from the bark of symptomless branches in naturally infected chestnut orchards.

Keywords


DNA sequencing;endophyte;EF1-α;ITS;Koch’s postulates;pathogen;taxonomy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4454/JPP.FA.2012.045

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