Details on the situation of Ceratocystis fimbriata f.sp. platani in Greece
In Greece, Ceratocystis fimbriata f.sp. platani (EPPO A2 List) was first observed in autumn 2003 on Platanus orientalis in the Messinia prefecture, south western Peloponnese (see EPPO RS 2004/009). The disease has caused substantial mortality of P. orientalis in natural stands along streams and rivers, as well as in ornamental plantings of P. orientalis and P. acerifolia. Among Platanus species, P. orientalis is considered as very susceptible to C. fimbriata f.sp. platani (more than P. acerifolia and P. occidentalis). From spring 2004 to autumn 2005, dead and dying plane trees were observed over an area of approximately 400 km2. Although the disease was also observed in residential and recreational areas, its impact was greater in natural stands. Hundreds of dead and dying P. orientalis trees were found along rivers and streams. Many of the recently dead and dying trees were found infested by wood boring Ambrosia beetles (e.g. Platypus cylindrus).
Genetic studies of Greek isolates suggested that the recent introduction in Greece probably originated from other European countries (Italy, France or Switzerland), rather than from eastern North America where the fungus is native. The introduction of C. fimbriata f.sp. platani in Greece raises serious concerns as the pathogen occurs in natural populations of P. orientalis. It is considered that containment and eradication programmes should urgently be implemented.
Ocasio-Morales RG, Panaghiotis T, Harrington TC (2007) Origin of Ceratocystis platani on native Platanus orientalis in Greece and its impact on natural forests. Plant Disease 91(7), 901-904.