First report of stem canker of Salsola tragus caused by Diaporthe eres in Russia.
In September 2007, dying Salsola tragus [Salsola kali subsp. tragus] plants were found along the Azov Sea at Chushka, Russia. Dying plants had irregular, necrotic, canker-like lesions near the base of the stems and most stems showed girdling and cracking. Stem lesions were dark brown and contained brown pycnidia and extending along lesion-free sections of the stems and basal portions of leaves. Based on cultural characteristics, the pathogen was identified as Phomopsis, conidial state of Diaporthe. A comparison with available sequences in GenBank using BLAST found 528 of 529 identities with the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence of an authentic and vouchered Diaporthe eres (GenBank DQ491514; BPI 748435; CBS 109767). Upon conducting pathogenicity tests, the Phomopsis state was recovered from all disease plants. This isolate of D. eres is a potential biological control agent of S. tragus in the USA. This is thought to be the first report of stem canker on S. tragus caused by D. eres.