First report of Sirococcus tsugae causing shoot blight on Cedrus atlantica in Belgium.
In June 2018, a group of about 10 Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) was found showing severe shoot blight symptoms in Belgium. Affected trees presented a light brown to pink discolouration of the needles as well as premature defoliation. A closer examination of the branches revealed necrosis of phloem tissues. The trees, located in a forest environment in the province of Luxembourg, were all displaying symptoms. Their diameter at breast height ranged from 45-55 cm. The causal pathogen was isolated and identified as Sirococcus tsugae based on morphological, molecular and pathogenicity analyses. The obtained sequences were deposited in GenBank as accession number MH828347 (ITS). This is thought to be the first report of shoot blight caused by S. tsugae on C. atlantica in Belgium.