Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Botryosphaeriaceae species associated with dieback and canker disease of bay laurel in northern California with the description of Dothiorella californica sp. nov.

Abstract

Members of the Botryosphaeriaceae are cosmopolitan fungi that may exist as seemingly innocuous endophytes or as destructive pathogens of numerous woody hosts, including fruit and nut crops, urban ornamental trees and shrubs, and forest trees. Surveys of bay laurel in northern California have revealed symptoms of dieback and branch canker of unknown aetiology. The goals of this study were to identify and clarify the species of Botryosphaeriaceae associated with these symptoms and to confirm their pathogenicity. To understand the role of members of the Botryosphaeriaceae in the dieback and canker disease of bay laurel, 23 isolates were isolated from symptomatic wood. Phylogenetic analyses of ITS, translation elongation factor 1-α, and beta-tubulin revealed three species: Botryosphaeria dothidea, Neofusicoccum nonquaesitum, and the newly described and typified species Dothiorella californica sp. nov. When select isolates were inoculated to 2- to 3-year-old branches of Umbellularia californica in a natural forest, both B. dothidea and N. nonquaesitum were pathogenic with N. nonquaesitum producing the largest lesions at 12- and 18-months post inoculation, respectively, while Do. californica did not cause wood lesions significantly greater than the mock-inoculated controls. This study represents the first attempt to identify and test the pathogenicity of Botryosphaeriaceae species associated with dieback and canker disease of bay laurel in a northern California forest.