First report of Ceratocystis platani in Albania
In June 2014, dieback symptoms and extensive tree mortality of Platanus orientalis were observed in several localities of Gjirokastër prefecture in Southern Albania. Samples were collected from trees showing dieback from 4 different localities (Sotirë, Platanias Selliou, Llovinë, Vrisera) in Gjirokastër prefecture. Laboratory studies confirmed the presence of Ceratocystis platani (EPPO A2 List) in these symptomatic samples. The identification of the fungus was based on both morphological characteristics in culture and DNA sequencing. The pathogenicity of C. platani was confirmed in inoculations on seedlings of P. orientalis. It is recalled that in 2010, the presence of C. platani was reported in Greece in the Epirus region which is very close to the border with Albania. It is considered that human activities, including the use of contaminated tools and terracing machinery, play a major role in the fungus dissemination. During the last two decades, transnational cooperation has taken place in the construction sector in the Greek-Albanian borders and the fungus could have easily been transferred from one country to the other with terracing machinery or pruning tools. It is also suggested that C. platani has spread with infected wood used as fire wood. This is the first time that C. platani is reported from Albania.
The situation of Ceratocystis platani in Albania can be described as follows: Present, first found in 2014 in 4 localities of Gjirokastër prefecture.
Tsopelas P, Palavouzis S, Tzima AK, Tsopelas MA, Soulioti N, Paplomatas EJ (2015) First report of Ceratocystis platani in Albania. Forest Pathology DOI: 10.1111/efp.12219