Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Neofusicoccum species causing branch cankers on avocado in Crete (Greece).

Abstract

Branch cankers is one of the most important threats to avocado production. During the late summer of 2016, sampling was conducted in the main avocado growing area in Chania Province, Crete, Greece, to study the occurrence of branch cankers and identify the causal agents. Four fungal isolates were identified using a polyphasic approach including morphological characters and a multilocus molecular phylogenetic analysis based on partial sequences of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) translation elongation factor 1alpha gene (tef-1α), beta-tubulin (tub2) and RNA polymerase II second largest subunit (rpb2). The isolates were identified as Neofusicoccum parvum and N. stellenboschiana. Pathogenicity tests showed both the Neofusicoccum species as pathogenic. To our knowledge, this is the first report of these pathogens causing branch cankers on avocado in Greece.