EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 10 - 2021 Num. article: 2021/229

Neopestalotiopsis species are causing emerging strawberry diseases worldwide

Several recent articles report Neopestalotiopsis species causing damaging diseases in strawberry production. The spread of these diseases is associated with the trade of transplants. There is some confusion within the taxonomy of Neopestalotiopsis species as the genus has gone through multiple reclassifications over the years. Neopestalotiopsis species cause leaf blight or spots, shoot dieback, fruit rots and postharvest diseases on a wide range of hosts. They can also be isolated as endophytes or occur as saprobes on plants.

As strawberry disease was first reported to be caused by Pestalotia longisetula (later renamed as Pestalotiopsis longisetula) in Florida and Israel in the 1970s. In these initial reports, the pathogens were mainly associated with fruit rot. More recent reports also include root and crown rot which can lead to crop failure. They involved at least 4 different species that are closely related: Neopestalotiopsis clavispora, N. mesopotamica, N. rosae, and a new Neopestalotiopsis spHoweveras noted by Baggio et al. (2021), some species may have been misidentified.

Neopestalotiopsis clavispora was identified in 2016-2019 as causing crown and rot root in strawberry in China, the Republic of Korea, Uruguay, Spain, Argentina and Italy.

Neopestalotiopsis rosae was identified on strawberries in Egypt, China, Mexico, the USA (Florida) and Taiwan. Analyses conducted by Baggio et al. (2021) concluded that the isolate identified as Neopestalotiopsis clavispora in Spain by Chamorro et al. (2016) should be considered as N. rosae. Baggio et al. (2021) also suggest that N. rosae is a synonym of Pestalotiopsis longisetula. N. rosae was also recently identified as causing stem blight and dieback of blueberry plants (Vaccinium corymbosum) in Peru, and foliar and fruit spot of pomegranate (Punica granatum). 

A tentative distribution map is available at https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/NPESRS/distribution

Neopestalotiopsis mesopotamica was identified as causing crown and root rot in strawberry in Ecuador and Iran.

Finally, a new Neopestalotiopsis sphas recently been observed causing severe outbreaks in the USA (Florida, Georgia) and Canada (Ontario). All transplants originated from the same nursery in North Carolina. 


Baggio JS, Peres NA (2020) Pestalotia leaf spot and fruit rot of strawberry. IFAS Extension, 2 pp.

Baggio JS, Forcelini BB, Wang NY, Ruschel RG, Mertely JC, Peres NA (2021) Outbreak of leaf spot and fruit rot in Florida strawberry caused by Neopestalotiopsis spp. Plant Disease 105(2), 305-315.

Chamorro M, Aguado A, De los Santos B (2016) First report of root and crown rot caused by Pestalotiopsis clavispora (Neopestalotiopsis clavispora) on strawberry in Spain. Plant Disease 100(7), 1495.

Essa TA, Kamel SM, Ismail A, El-Ganainy S (2018) Characterization and chemical control of Neopestalotiopsis rosae the causal agent of strawberry root and crown rot in Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Phytopathology 46(1), 1-9.

Goldenhar K, Pate E (2021) Pest Alert: Neopestalotiopsis – an emerging strawberry disease in North America. Available online https://onfruit.ca/2021/03/11/pest-alert-neopestalotiopsis-an-emerging-strawberry-disease-in-north-america/

Hidrobo J, Ramirez-Villacis D, Barriga-Medina N, Herrera K, Leon-Reyes A (2021) First report of Neopestalotiopsis mesopotamica causing root and crown rot on strawberry in Ecuador. Plant Disease https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-06-21-1278-PDN

Rebollar-Alviter A, Silva-Rojas HV, Fuentes-Aragón D, Acosta-González U, Martínez-Ruiz M, Parra-Robles BE (2020) An emerging strawberry fungal disease associated with root rot, crown rot and leaf spot caused by Neopestalotiopsis rosae in Mexico. Plant Disease 104(8), 2054-2059.

Maharachchikumbura SS, Hyde KD, Groenewald JZ, Xu J, Crous PW (2014) Pestalotiopsis revisited. Studies in Mycology 79, 121-186.

Rodríguez-Gálvez E, Hilário S, Lopes A, Alves A (2020) Diversity and pathogenicity of Lasiodiplodia and Neopestalotiopsis species associated with stem blight and dieback of blueberry plants in Peru. European Journal of Plant Pathology 157(1), 89-102.

Sun Q, Harishchandra D, Jia J, Zuo Q, Zhang G, Wang Q, Yan J, Zhang W, Li X (2021) Role of Neopestalotiopsis rosae in causing root rot of strawberry in Beijing, China. Crop Protection 147, 105710.

Van Hemelrijck W, Ceustermans A, Van Campenhout J, Lieten P, Bylemans D (2016) Crown rot in strawberry caused by Pestalotiopsis. In VIII International Strawberry Symposium 1156 (pp. 781-786). Acta Horticulturae 1156. ISHS 2017. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1156.115

Wu HY, Tsai CY, Wu YM, Ariyawansa HA, Chung CL, Chung PC (2020) First report of Neopestalotiopsis rosae causing leaf blight and crown rot on strawberry in Taiwan. Plant Disease 105(2), 487. https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-05-20-1045-PDN