First report of Cylindrocladium buxicola in Italy
In spring 2008, Cylindrocladium buxicola (formerly on the EPPO Alert List) was detected for the first time in Italy (Saracchi et al., 2008). In a nursery located in the province of Como (Lombardia), leaf blight symptoms were observed on potted box plants (Buxus sempervirens cv. ‘Suffruticosa’) and were followed by a sudden and severe defoliation. Diseased plants had been imported from Belgium (where C. buxicola is known to occur) as cuttings in November 2006. At the time of import, cuttings did not show any symptoms. However, in spring 2007, the first leaf blight symptoms appeared on a few plants but were attributed to the hot temperatures that prevailed during this period. Because spring 2008 was particularly cool and rainy, box blight symptoms were severe and the nurseryman decided to destroy the whole plant lot. Investigations were subsequently carried out on other plant lots within this nursery but C. buxicola was no longer detected.
Interestingly, the NPPO of Italy later reported another finding of C. buxicola in the province of Como. In September 2008, C. buxicola was detected in the boxwood hedges (Buxus sempervirens) of the ‘Italian style garden’ of Villa Taverna which is located at Torno on the shores of Lake of Como.
The situation of Cylindrocladium buxicola in Italy can be described as follows: Present, first found in 2008 in Lombardia (Como province).
NPPO of Italy and PPO of Lombardia, 2009-02.
Saracchi M, Rocchi F, Pizzatti C, Cortesi P (2008) Box blight, a new disease of Buxus in Italy caused by Cylindrocladium buxicola. Journal of Plant Pathology 90(3), 565-568.