First report of Pestalotiopsis theae causing leaf spot of Ixora chinensis in China.
I. chinensis is a flowering ornamental plant widely grown in tropical countries including China. Visible leaf spots with concentric rings were observed in March 2018 on I. chinensis in Fuzhou, Fujian, China. In some areas, disease incidence was up to 60% of the plants. Initially, tiny circular brown spots were observed on leaves, and over time the spots expanded to become large and irregular lesions spread over the surface, resulting in defoliation. Leaf spots contained concentric rings dotted with acervuli of up to 250 µm diameter. Based on morphological characteristics, molecular data (sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer region and partial EF-1a gene) and pathogenicity test, the causal agent was identified as P. theae. Previously, P. theae has been reported causing gray leaf blight of tea and loquat in China. This is thought to be the first report of P. theae causing leaf spot on I. chinensis worldwide.