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The pathogenic diversity and host range of Colletotrichum spp. causing pepper spot and anthracnose of lychee (Litchi chinensis) in Australia

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Anderson, J. M., Coates, L. M., Aitken, E. A. B., Mitchell, R. W., McTaggart, A. R. and Dann, E. K. (2024) The pathogenic diversity and host range of Colletotrichum spp. causing pepper spot and anthracnose of lychee (Litchi chinensis) in Australia. Plant Pathology, n/a (n/a). ISSN 0032-0862


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/ppa.13901

Publisher URL: https://bsppjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ppa.13901


Lychee pepper spot, a field disease affecting lychee fruit skin, pedicels and petioles, is caused by Colletotrichum siamense, a fungal pathogen within the gloeosporioides species complex. Members of Colletotrichum from the gloeosporioides species complex and occasionally those from the acutatum species complex also cause postharvest anthracnose of lychee. Pepper spot was first described in Australia many years after anthracnose on lychee was first described, giving rise to the hypothesis that a novel species or strain within the gloeosporioides species complex causes pepper spot. In the present study, 19 isolates of Colletotrichum spp., collected from pepper spot and anthracnose symptoms on lychee fruit, representing 13 different genotypes across five species, were inoculated onto lychee fruit in the field or on detached fruit in the laboratory, to understand more about their pathogenic diversity. We found that symptoms were specific to genotype of the pathogen, as three genetically similar isolates of C. siamense consistently caused pepper spot and anthracnose, whilst other isolates caused anthracnose only. Cross-inoculation studies on detached fruit of lychee, banana, avocado and mango also provided some evidence of host specialization in isolates of C. siamense infecting lychee in Australia. Our experiments provided further evidence that detached fruit assays cannot be used as a reliable proxy for field inoculation studies. This research confirms that C. siamense is a causal agent of both lychee pepper spot and lychee anthracnose in Australia, and Colletotrichum alienum and Colletotrichum queenslandicum are reported as causal agents of anthracnose of lychee for the first time.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Subjects:Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture
Plant pests and diseases
Plant pests and diseases > Plant pathology
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia
Live Archive:08 Apr 2024 22:44
Last Modified:08 Apr 2024 22:48

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