Author(s): Mehl JW, Slippers B, Roux J, Wingfield MJ
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Abstract There have been several recent reports of Pterocarpus angolensis (kiaat) trees dying in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, where this tree is used in traditional medicine and is a valuable source of timber for woodcarving and furniture. A survey of material from diseased P. angolensis trees in South Africa yielded isolates of the Botryosphaeriaceae, an important fungal family known to cause a number of tree diseases. The aim of this study was to identify these Botryosphaeriaceae and to determine their pathogenicity to P. angolensis with branch inoculations. Seven species of the Botryosphaeriaceae were identified based on a combination of morphological characteristics and sequences from the ITS and EF-1α gene regions. Four of these represent undescribed taxa for which the names Pseudofusicoccum violaceum, P. olivaceum, Diplodia alatafructa and Fusicoccum atrovirens are provided. The remaining three species collected include Lasiodiplodia theobromae, L. pseudotheobromae and L. crassispora. Inoculation trials on tree branches showed that L. pseudotheobromae and one isolate of D. alatafructa differed significantly from control inoculations. The high levels of virulence and common occurrence of L. pseudotheobromae suggest that this species could play a role in tree dieback and death.
This article was published in Mycologia
and referenced in Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography