First confirmed report of Lecanosticta acicola in Slovakia
In Slovakia, a first report of Lecanosticta acicola (EPPO A2 List) was made in 2010, indicating that the fungus had been detected in 2 out of 128 samples collected from Pinus nigra trees in the city of Nitra. The fungus had been identified on the basis of its morphological characteristics, but no molecular tests were performed at that time.
More recently, further studies (Adamčíková et al., 2021) were conducted to determine the distribution and host range of L. acicola in Slovakia and to characterize its populations (genetic diversity, mating type). From 2018 to 2020, samples of symptomatic pine needles were collected from 84 different locations across the country and L. acicola was found in 17 samples from 13 locations. Positive samples had mainly been collected from urban environments, but one came from a forest plantation. The identity of the fungus was confirmed with molecular methods (PCR with specific primers, sequencing). This study could also verify that the 2 isolates previously collected from Nitra corresponded to L. acicola. However, when the sites of these two initial findings were studied again in 2020, the fungus could not be found. Concerning host plants, L. acicola was most frequently detected in P. nigra (7 samples) and P. mugo (7), but it was also found in P. sylvestris (2) and P. cembra (1). The authors noted that this is the first time that L. acicola is detected in P. cembra and considered that its host status should be further investigated. Finally, it was shown that all studied Slovakian isolates were of the same mating type and could be grouped into a single lineage.
The situation of Lecanosticta acicola in Slovakia can be described as follows: Present, not widely distributed.
Adamčíková K, Jánošíková Z, Adamčík S, Ostrovský R, Pastirčáková K, Kobza M, Ondrušková E (2021) Host range, genetic variability, and mating types of Lecanosticta acicola in Slovakia. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 36(5), 325-332. https://doi.org/10.1080/02827581.2021.1941236
Ivanová H, Bernadovičová S (2010) Species diversity of microscopic fungi on Austrian pines growing in urban greenery of Nitra town. Folia Oecologica 37, 168–171.