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Open AccessArticle

Pseudodidymella fagi in Slovenia: First Report and Expansion of Host Range

Department of Forest Protection, Slovenian Forestry Institute, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Forests 2019, 10(9), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090718
Received: 25 July 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 19 August 2019 / Published: 21 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Pathogens in Forest Ecosystems)
The fungus Pseudodidymella fagi is spreading in Europe and causing leaf blotch of European beech, Fagus sylvatica. Between 2008 and 2017, outbreaks of P. fagi were observed on European beech in Switzerland, Germany (also on F. orientalis), Austria, and Slovakia. In Slovenia, leaf blotch symptoms were first observed on F. sylvatica in 2018. P. fagi was identified as the causal agent of the observed symptoms in Slovenia by morphological examinations together with sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the rDNA. This study links the fungus to the expansion of the known distribution of the disease to Slovenia, and based on in vitro pathogenicity trials, also to a new potential host, Quercus petraea. The pathogenicity tests confirmed F. sylvatica and F. orientalis as hosts for P. fagi, but not Castanea sativa, where pathogenicity to F. orientalis was proved for first time in vitro. Although Koch’s postulates could not be proven for C. sativa, it seems to be partially susceptible in vitro because some of the inoculation points developed lesions. Additionally, damage to Carpinus betulus related to P. fagi near heavily infected beech trees was observed in vivo but was not tested in laboratory trials. Based on the results and our observations in the field, it is likely that P. fagi has a wider host range than previously thought and that we might be witnessing host switching. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pycnopleiospora fagi; leaf blotch; pathogenicity test; inoculation test; Fagus orientalis; Fagus sylvatica; Quercus petraea; mycopappus-like propagule; Carpinus betulus; host switching Pycnopleiospora fagi; leaf blotch; pathogenicity test; inoculation test; Fagus orientalis; Fagus sylvatica; Quercus petraea; mycopappus-like propagule; Carpinus betulus; host switching
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Ogris, N.; Brglez, A.; Piškur, B. Pseudodidymella fagi in Slovenia: First Report and Expansion of Host Range. Forests 2019, 10, 718.

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