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Developing tools to unravel the biological secrets of Rosellinia necatrix, an emergent threat to woody crops

AuthorsPliego, Clara; López Herrera, Carlos ; Ramos, Cayo; Cazorla, Francisco Manuel
Issue DateApr-2012
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationMolecular Plant Pathology 13(3): 226-239 (2012)
AbstractWhite root rot caused by Rosellinia necatrix is one of the most destructive diseases of many woody plants in the temperate regions of the world, particularly in Europe and Asia. Recent outbreaks of R.necatrix around the globe have increased the interest in this pathogen. Although the ecology of the disease has been poorly studied, recent genetic and molecular advances have opened the way for future detailed studies of this fungus. Taxonomy: Rosellinia necatrix Prilleux. Kingdom Fungi; subdivision Ascomycotina; class Euascomycetes; subclass Pyrenomycetes; order Sphaeriales, syn. Xylariales; family Xylariaceae; genus Rosellinia. Identification: Fungal mycelium is present on root surfaces and under the bark, forming mycelium fans, strands or cords. A typical presence of pear-shaped or pyriform swellings can be found above the hyphal septum (with diameters of up to 13μm). Sclerotia are black, hard and spherical nodules, several millimetres in diameter. Black sclerotia crusts may also form on roots. On synthetic media, it forms microsclerotia: irregular rough bodies composed of a compact mass of melanized, interwoven hyphae with no differentiated cells. Chlamydospores are almost spherical (15μm in diameter). Synnemata, also named coremia (0.5-1.5mm in length), can be formed from sclerotia or from mycelial masses. Conidia (3-5μm in length and 2.5-3μm in width) are very difficult to germinate invitro. Ascospores are monostichous, situated inside a cylindrical, long-stalked ascus. They are ellipsoidal and cymbiform (36-46μm in length and 5.5-6.3μm in width). Host range: This fungus can attack above 170 different plant hosts from 63 genera and 30 different families, including vascular plants and algae. Some are of significant economic importance, such as Coffea spp., Malus spp., Olea europaea L., Persea americana Mill., Prunus spp. and Vitis vinifera L. Disease symptoms: Rosellinia necatrix causes white (or Dematophora) root rot, which, by aerial symptoms, shows a progressive weakening of the plant, accompanied by a decline in vigour. The leaves wilt and dry, and the tree can eventually die. White cottony mycelium and mycelial strands can be observed in the crown and on the root surface. On woody plant roots, the fungus can be located between the bark and the wood, developing typical mycelium fans, invading the whole root and causing general rotting. Disease control: Some approaches have been attempted involving the use of tolerant plants and physical control (solarization). Chemical control in the field and biological control methods are still under development. © 2011 The Authors. Molecular Plant Pathology © 2011 BSPP and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2011.00753.x
issn: 1464-6722
e-issn: 1364-3703
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