Involvement of Phytophthora spp. in chestnut decline in the Black Sea region of Turkey
Chestnut blight caused by Cryphonectria parasitica is a serious disease of Castanea sativa in the Black Sea region of Turkey. During disease surveys, dieback and decline symptoms were observed on trees without apparent blight and ink disease symptoms. Black necroses, similar to those caused by Phytophthora infections, were noted on some of the chestnut coppices and saplings in one nursery in Ordu and led to an investigation into this disease complex. Only symptomatic plants showing dieback symptoms were investigated. Soil samples together with fine roots were collected from two directions, north and north‐east, approximately 150 cm away from the main stems. Phytophthora spp. were baited with young chestnut leaves. Three Phytophthora spp., P. cambivora, P. cinnamomi and P. plurivora, were identified from 12 soil samples collected from 73 locations, while from the nurseries, only P. cinnamomi was obtained. Phytophthora cinnamomi was the most common species, obtained from seven locations in five provinces and from four nurseries having similar symptoms mentioned above in different locations. Phytophthora cambivora and P. plurivora were less frequently obtained, from three to two stands, respectively. Phytophthora cinnamomi and P. cambivora were the most aggressive species when inoculated at the stem base on 3‐year‐old chestnut saplings, killing six saplings of eight inoculated in 2 months. The three Phytophthora species were first recorded on chestnut in Black sea region of Turkey with the limited samples investigated in a large area about 150 000 ha chestnut forest.
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