First report of Phytophthora pistaciae causing root and collar rot on nursery plants of Pistacia lentiscus in Italy.
In April 2019, a survey carried out in a public forest nursery in Sardinia (Italy) revealed the presence of typical Phytophthora symptoms such as leaf reddening, wilted shoots, and dieback associated with root and collar rot on 3-year-old potted seedlings of lentisk (Pistacia lentiscus). Approximately 60% of 240 potted plants, obtained from seeds collected in natural areas in Sardinia, were symptomatic. To isolate Phytophthora, rhizosphere soil and root samples of seven symptomatic seedlings were baited with Quercus suber and Sambucus nigra leaves. Based on morphological characteristics, sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer region and pathogenicity test, the causal agent was identified as Phytophthora pistaciae. This fungus is reported as one of the main pathogens involved in the etiology of pistachio (Pistacia vera) gummosis in Iran. This is thought to be the first report of Pistacia pistaciae outside of Iran and as a lentisk pathogen.