First report and characterization of Fusarium circinatum, the causal agent of pitch canker in Brazil.
Pitch canker is one of the most important diseases of pine trees worldwide, including South America. The causal agent of this disease is Fusarium circinatum, a member of the Gibberella fujikuroi complex (GFC). In South America, the species is reported from Colombia, Uruguay and Chile, but is considered a quarantine organism in Brazil. In this study we characterized isolates obtained from symptomatic pine seedlings intercepted in a nursery in Santa Catarina State using phylogenetic analyses, crossings and morphological markers. The Brazilian isolates grouped with reference material in an unique clade and formed fertile perithecia when crossed with reference tester strains. The detailed characterization given here and the availability of tester strains will allow for reliable identification and support monitoring of this important plant pathogen.