CHARACTERISATION OF NEOFUSICOCCUM SPECIES CAUSING MANGO DIEBACK IN ITALY
A.M. Ismail, G. Cirvilleri, L. Lombard, P.W. Crous, J.Z. Groenewald, G. Polizzi
Species of Botryosphaeriaceae are important fungal pathogens of mango worldwide. A survey of 11 mango orchards located in the provinces of Catania, Messina, Palermo and Ragusa (Sicily, southern Italy), resulted in the isolation of a large number (76) of Neofusicoccum isolates associated with decline and dieback symptoms. Isolates were identified based on morphology and DNA sequence data analyses of the internal transcribed spacer region of the nrDNA and partial translation of the elongation factor 1-alpha gene regions. Two species of Neofusicoccum were identified, which included N. parvum and N. australe, the former of which was the dominant species. The high incidence in local orchards and the pathogenicity results indicate that N. parvum and N. australe are important pathogens of mango in Sicily where they may significantly limit mango production.