First report of branch decay caused by Diaporthe nobilis on Punica granatum 'Taishanhong'.
In June 2017, branch decay on pomegranate was observed on Taishanhong pomegranate cultivar in Zaozhuang, Shandong, China. The percentage of symptomatic plants was 5-12% in the investigated four orchards. The diseased epidermises on branch became dry and showed puce with lots of dark spots. Occasionally, the rotten tissue was covered with fungal mycelia in a humid environment. Soon afterward, rifts appeared between the healthy and diseased tissues, and then diseased epidermises fell off with their fracture and embossing. Finally, the upper branch of infected parts died. Based on morphological characteristics, molecular data (sequence analysis of the three-locus sequence analysis including internal transcribed spacer, beta-tubulin gene and translation elongation factor 1-alpha) and pathogenicity tests, the causal agent was identified as D. nobilis. This fungus has been reported on pepper and tea in China. This is thought to be the first report of D. nobilis causing branch rot on pomegranate in China or in the world.