Distribution and severity of damage by Cryphonectria parasitica in the chestnut stands in Guilan province, Iran

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Chestnut blight caused by Cryphonectria parasitica has recently been reported from Guilan province, the only region with natural chestnut (Castanea sativa) stands in Iran. During the past few years, chestnut stands in Iran have been seriously threatened by the fungus, incidence of the disease is increasing and vast canopies are reduced to sprouts. As yet, there is no report on the disease distribution and severity in this region. Six sites from three main growing regions of chestnut in Guilan province were selected for investigation. We report occurrence and evaluation of the damage of the disease caused by C. parasitica. To evaluate the scale of damage, the investigated trees were classified into six categories based on the degree of crown damage, the number of canker wounds and the presence of the fungus. Index of health condition was calculated for all sites. During this study, a total of 250 isolates of Cryphonectria species were obtained, of which 232 isolates were C. parasitica and 18 were Cryphonectria radicalis. Castanea parasitica was observed in all regions. Index of health condition was scored from 0 to 6 with 0 being disease free and six being the most severe infection. Index results in the investigated sites varied between 0.69–5.45 and 0.93–5.55 for years 2006 and 2007, respectively. The highest damage was found in Doran (IH = 5.55), which is located some 100 km away from Shahbalutmahalleh, the site with lowest damage (IH = 0.93). This is the first extended report on aspects of chestnut blight in Iran.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0329.2009.00621.x

Affiliations: (for correspondence), Email: khodaparast@guilan.ac.ir

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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