New fungal species associated with blueberry stem blight in China
Recently, two new fungal species associated with blueberry stem blight have been described from China. Blueberry commercial cultivation (Vaccinium spp.) in China started in 1981 and it is estimated that in 2017 it covered an area of approximately 31 000 ha and reached a production of more than 114 000 tonnes. The main blueberry-growing areas are located in the Guizhou, Liaoning and Shandong provinces.
In 2017, stem blight symptoms were observed on Vaccinium corymbosum plants in commercial greenhouses near Beijing, China. This disease seriously affected the growth of blueberry plants, as well as their fruit quality and productivity. The causal agent of this disease was identified as Lasiodiplodia vaccinii sp. nov.. The distribution and host range of this new fungal species remains to be further studied (Zhao et al., 2019b).
During a study conducted in 2018 in the suburban area of Nanping (Fujian province), 20 diseased or dead stems were collected at a blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum x V. darrowii) production site. Molecular studies and pathogenicity tests showed that isolates obtained from blueberry plants showing stem blight lesions corresponded to a new fungal species, Macrophomina vaccinii sp. nov. (Zhao et al., 2019a).
Zhao L, Cai J, He W, Zhang Y (2019a) Macrophomina vaccinii sp. nov. causing blueberry stem blight in China. MycoKeys 55, 1-14. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3897/mycokeys.55.35015
Zhao L, Wang Y, He W, Zhang Y (2019b) Stem blight of blueberry caused by Lasiodiplodia vaccinii sp. nov. in China. Plant Disease 103(8), 2041-2050. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-01-19-0079-RE