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Dieback and pod rot caused by Lasiodiplodia theobromae and L. iraniensis in native accessions of cacao (Theobroma cacao) from Amazonas, Peru

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Lasiodiplodia spp. are known to cause canker, rot and dieback symptoms in several crops worldwide. In this study, two Lasiodiplodia species were identified as pathogens of native cacao accessions from the department of Amazonas, Peru, causing dieback and pod rot on young and old stems. We evaluated the macro and micro morphological characteristics, and conducted a molecular identification based on a phylogenetic analysis with a multilocus dataset with informative loci for the genus. Microscopic examination revealed the presence of immature conidia that were initially hyaline, subovoid, unicellular, and double-layered, which became reddish brown with a central septum and longitudinal grooves at maturity. In the phylogenetic analysis, we identified our isolates as L. theobromae and L. iraniensis with strong bootstrap support values. Koch's postulates were fulfilled after the re-isolation of the same species from diseased tissues of cacao fruits and stems after an artificial inoculation. Therefore, in this study, we report for the first time L. theobromae and L. iraniensis infecting native cacao plants in Amazonas, Peru.

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Data availability

All sequences generated in this study are publicly available under the NCBI Accession Numbers: OR428215-20, OR468298-315 (For details, see Table 2).


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We thank Mr. Marco Pasapera for field support during collections, and the entire staff of the Plant Health Laboratory of UNTRM-A for help during lab activities.


This study was funded by CEINCACAO (CUI N°2315081) project and by PROCIENCIA-CONCYTEC, Peru, under contract Nº PE501078997-2022-PROCIENCIA.

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Authors and Affiliations



JHP collected samples, led the conduction of all experiments, analyzed the data, and wrote the original draft of the manuscript, EHD and AFHP collected samples, conducted pathogenicity tests, and revised and edited versions of the manuscript; SMOC secured funds for the development of this study, and revised early versions of the manuscript; JRDV secured funds for the development of this study, supervised the study, analyzed the data, revised and proof-read the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Jorge Ronny Díaz-Valderrama.

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None of the authors conducted experiments involving human participants or experimental animals.

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Huaman-Pilco, J., Huaman-Pilco, Á.F., Hernández-Diaz, E. et al. Dieback and pod rot caused by Lasiodiplodia theobromae and L. iraniensis in native accessions of cacao (Theobroma cacao) from Amazonas, Peru. Indian Phytopathology (2024).

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