Lasiodiplodia mitidjana sp. nov. and other Botryosphaeriaceae species causing branch canker and dieback of Citrus sinensis in Algeria.
Several Botryosphaeriaceae species are known to occur worldwide, causing dieback, canker and fruit rot on various hosts. Surveys conducted in ten commercial citrus orchards in the northern region of Algeria revealed five species of Botryosphaeriaceae belonging to three genera associated with diseased trees. Morphological and cultural characteristics as well as phylogenetic analyses of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef1-α) identified Diplodia mutila, Diplodia seriata, Dothiorella viticola, Lasiodiplodia mediterranea and a novel species which is here described as Lasiodiplodia mithidjana sp. nov.. Of these, L. mithidjana (14.1% of the samples) and L. mediterranea (13% of the samples) were the most widespread and abundant species. Pathogenicity tests revealed that L. mediterranea and D. seriata were the most aggressive species on citrus shoots. This study highlights the importance of Botryosphaeriaceae species as agents of canker and dieback of citrus trees in Algeria.