Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 109, Issue 4, pp 543–564 | Cite as

Botryosphaeriaceae associated with the die-back of ornamental trees in the Western Balkans

  • Milica ZlatkovićEmail author
  • Nenad Keča
  • Michael J. Wingfield
  • Fahimeh Jami
  • Bernard Slippers
Original Paper


Extensive die-back and mortality of various ornamental trees and shrubs has been observed in parts of the Western Balkans region during the past decade. The disease symptoms have been typical of those caused by pathogens residing in the Botryosphaeriaceae. The aims of this study were to isolate and characterize Botryosphaeriaceae species associated with diseased ornamental trees in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Isolates were initially characterized based on the DNA sequence data for the internal transcribed spacer rDNA and six major clades were identified. Representative isolates from each clade were further characterized using DNA sequence data for the translation elongation factor 1-alpha, β-tubulin-2 and large subunit rRNA gene regions, as well as the morphology of the asexual morphs. Ten species of the Botryosphaeriaceae were identified of which eight, i.e., Dothiorella sarmentorum, Neofusicoccum parvum, Botryosphaeria dothidea, Phaeobotryon cupressi, Sphaeropsis visci, Diplodia seriata, D. sapinea and D. mutila were known taxa. The remaining two species could be identified only as Dothiorella spp. Dichomera syn-asexual morphs of D. sapinea, Dothiorella sp. 2 and B. dothidea, as well as unique morphological characters for a number of the known species are described. Based on host plants and geographic distribution, the majority of Botryosphaeriaceae species found represent new records. The results of this study contribute to our knowledge of the distribution, host associations and impacts of these fungi on trees in urban environments.


Botryosphaeriales Morphology Phylogeny Tree pathogens Urban tree pathology 



We thank Members of Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP), the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia (TR37008) for the financial support that made this study possible. The first author also wishes to acknowledge partial financial support from European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Actions Pathway Evaluation in Pest Risk Management In Transport (PERMIT FP1002), ALIEN Challenge (TD1209) and A global network of nurseries as early warning system against alien tree pests (Global Warning FP1401). Dr. Jelena Lazarević is thanked for help with sampling in Montenegro, Dr. Jelena Beloica for help with cultivar identification of ornamental trees and shrubs and Prof. Dr. Dragan Karadžić and Dr. Ivan Milenković for providing some of the samples used in this study. Institute of Botany and Botanical Garden “Jevremovac” are thanked for the permission and help with sampling in the botanical garden, whereas Prof. Dr. Dušan Jurc and Dr. Barbara Piškur are thanked for hosting of the first author during the research stay in the Slovenian Forestry Institute.

Supplementary material

10482_2016_659_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 kb)
10482_2016_659_MOESM2_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 16 kb)
10482_2016_659_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (158 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 158 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milica Zlatković
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nenad Keča
    • 1
  • Michael J. Wingfield
    • 2
  • Fahimeh Jami
    • 2
  • Bernard Slippers
    • 3
  1. 1.Forest Protection, Department of Forestry, Faculty of ForestryUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI)University of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Genetics, FABIUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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