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Sphaeropsis canker, a new disease of cypress in Greece

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The fungus Sphaeropsis sp. is reported for first time in Greece to cause cankers on Cupressus sempervirens. The cultural characteristics on PDA, spore shape and size and canker morphology were identical to those of the fungus described as Diplodia pinea f. sp. cupressi in Israel. The cankers of Sphaeropsis sp. are characterized by resin exudation, with fissuring of the bark over a dry sector of the wood. The pathogenicity of the Sphaeropsis sp. was proved by artificial inoculations on selected cypress clones resistant and susceptible to Seiridium cardinale. The mean canker length of the susceptible clone was significantly more than that of the resistant clones. It appears that the defence reaction in cypress against both fungi is similar. In artificial inoculations on Pinus halepensis and Pinus pinea, Sphaeropsis sp. was nonpathogenic. During a 3-year period, in an experimental plot in western Peloponnese, the fungus spread from one, initially, to 13 cypress clones. Drought stress during the summer appears to be the main factor predisposing the cypress plants to become susceptible to the fungus.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-06-01

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