First record of Gibberella circinata (pine pitch canker) in Spain
In Asturias (northern Spain) during winter 2003/2004, dieback symptoms were observed on Pinus radiata and P. pinaster in pine nurseries. Small groups of affected seedlings appeared randomly distributed throughout the nurseries. Affected seedlings died rapidly, showing basal needle dieback, stem lesions, resin exudations, and wilting. A fungus identified as Fusarium circinatum (anamorph of Gibberella circinata – EPPO Action List/A1) was isolated and shown by reinoculation to be pathogenic to pine. The pathogen was only isolated from P. radiata and P. pinaster. Other species such as P. nigra, P. sylvestris and Pseudotsuga menziesii which were also grown in these nurseries did not show any symptoms. Later in 2004, symptoms of pitch canker were also observed on 20 year-old P. radiata in one forest plantation in Cantabria (northern Spain). Infected branches and shoots exuded abundant resin, resulting in resinous cankers. Needles wilted and fell from the trees. Affected trees showed noticeable crown dieback. G. circinata was also isolated from cankers. Although there has been one unconfirmed report in the past, it is considered that this is the first report of G. circinata on P. radiata and P. pinaster in Spain, and in Europe.
The situation of G. circinata in Spain can be described as follows: Present, few cases found in 2003/2004 on P. radiata and P. pinaster in nurseries and 1 forest plantation, in northern Spain (Asturias, Cantrabria).
Landeras E, García P, Fernández Y, Braña M, Fernández-Alonso O, Méndez-Lodos S, Pérez-Sierra A, León M, Abad-Campos P, Berbegal M, Beltrán R, García-Jiménez J, Armengol J (2005) Outbreak of pitch canker caused by Fusarium circinatum on Pinus spp. in northern Spain.
Plant Disease 89(9), p 1015.