First report of alternaria black spot of pomegranate caused by Alternaria alternata in Spain.
Since 2010, a new foliar and fruit disease was observed in pomegranate orchards in Alicante Province (eastern Spain). Symptoms included black spots on leaves and fruits, as well as chlorosis and premature abscission of leaves. Based on morphological characteristics, molecular investigations (sequence analysis of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer region and partial sequences of the beta-tubulin gene, and PCR assay) and pathogenicity tests, the causal agent was identified as A. alternata. Leaf black spot of pomegranate caused by A. alternata was first described in India in 1988, and later in Israel in 2010 affecting both fruit and leaves. This is thought to be the first report of the disease in Spain, where it could represent a threat for pomegranate cultivation due to the increasing amount of area dedicated to this crop.