Diversity of Botryosphaeriaceae species associated with conifers in Portugal
Botryosphaeriaceous fungi were isolated from conifers showing disease symptoms such as diebacks, blights, and cankers. The isolates were grouped based on morphology and ERIC-PCR fingerprinting patterns and representatives of each group were identified by sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Nine species from four different genera in Botryosphaeriaceae were identified within the isolates. Many new fungus-host associations were established and several species of Botryosphaeriaceae are reported from conifers for the first time. Most of these species also represent new reports from Portugal. The genus Neofusicoccum that was thought to be mainly restricted to angiosperms was the most frequent within the collection of isolates, followed by Diplodia. Dothiorella and Botryosphaeria represented a minor fraction of the isolates. Interestingly, the most common species was N. luteum, which had never been reported from coniferous hosts. Our results indicate that Neofusicoccum species may be more important as pathogens of conifers than it was previously recognised.
KeywordsBotryosphaeriaceae Canker Conifers Dieback New records
Artur Alves was supported by the programme Ciência2008, co-funded by the Human Potential Operational Programme (National Strategic Reference Framework 2007–2013) and European Social Fund (EU). Carla Barradas was supported by a PhD grant from FCT (SFRH/BD/77939/2011).
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