Co-occurrence of pathogenic and non-pathogenic Fusarium decemcellulare and Lasiodiplodia theobromae isolates in cushion galls disease of cacao (Theobroma cacao L.)

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Abstract

Flowery cushion gall of cacao is a disease complex with six types. Fusarium decemcellulare have been isolated from both flowery and green point galls and recognized as the etiological agent of the disease. In the present work we: i) identified by ITS-rDNA sequencing and/or taxonomy the cultivable fungal species or Operative Taxonomic Units (OTUs) associated with the five symptoms of cushion galls in cacao from Venezuela, and ii) determined the gall inducing capacity on cacao peeled seeds after 45 days of inoculation with suspensions of mycelia/ spores from distinct isolate types. The whole isolate collection rendered an abundance of 113 isolates with a richness of 39 OTUs (27) and eight identified at the species or genera levels, respectively, and in unidentified fungi. The dominant recovered species (≈36%) were F. decemcellulare and Lasiodiplodia theobromae. Some isolates of F. decemcellulare, L. theobromae, F. equiseti, Fusarium spp., F. solani, F. incarnatum, Rhizocthonia solani and Penicillium sp. were pathogenic. Some other isolates of the first six mentioned taxa behave as non-pathogenic. Furthermore, pathogenic and non-pathogenic isolates can also co-occur within a single plant and gall type. Moreover, 2-5 species within a single gall symptom in a single tree were identified (not necessarily at the same point in the tree), indicating a broad diversity of co-occurring taxa.

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Journal of Plant Protection Research

The Journal of Polish Society of Plant Protection, Committee of Plant Protection; Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Plant Protection – National Research Institute

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