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Gnomonia fragariae, a Cause of Strawberry Root Rot and Petiole Blight

Abstract

Gnomonia fragariae has been occasionally listed among the fungi associated with diseased strawberry plants. However its pathogenicity has not been established. During the investigation on strawberry decline in Latvia and Sweden, a fungus was repeatedly recovered from discoloured root and crown tissues of severely stunted plants. Attempts to induce sporulation of the isolates grown on several agar media resulted in the formation of mature ascomata only on potato carrot agar and oatmeal agar. On morphological grounds and comparisons with reference herbarium specimens these isolates were identified as Gnomonia fragariae. The pathogenicity of the fungus was evaluated initially in the detached leaf assay and subsequently in three bioassays on strawberry plants. All the bioassays showed that G. fragariae was pathogenic on strawberry and capable of causing severe root rot and petiole blight. The symptoms that developed in the greenhouse experiments closely resembled those observed in the fields. The fungus did not cause rapid plant death but growth and development of inoculated strawberry plants was severely affected. To our knowledge this is the first time when pathogenicity of G. fragariae as a root rot pathogen has been clearly established. Our study shows that G. fragariae is one of the serious pathogens involved in the root rot complex of strawberry in Latvia and Sweden.

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Correspondence to Inga Morocko.

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Morocko, I., Fatehi, J. & Gerhardson, B. Gnomonia fragariae, a Cause of Strawberry Root Rot and Petiole Blight. Eur J Plant Pathol 114, 235–244 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10658-005-5282-x

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Keywords

  • Gnomonia comari
  • morphology
  • pathogenicity