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Revista Chapingo. Serie horticultura

On-line version ISSN 2007-4034Print version ISSN 1027-152X

Abstract

FERNANDEZ-HERRERA, Ernesto et al. Neoscytalidium dimidiatum: causal agent of dieback in Ficus benjamina L. in Mexico. Rev. Chapingo Ser.Hortic [online]. 2017, vol.23, n.3, pp.203-210. ISSN 2007-4034.  http://dx.doi.org/10.5154/r.rchsh.2017.02.009.

In Mexico, Ficus benjamina L. is mainly used as an ornamental and has been widely accepted because of its low production cost, rapid growth and abundant foliage. Ficus L. is a very broad genus that groups together diverse species native to tropical and subtropical regions. The aim of this research was to morphologically and molecularly identify the causal agent of “branch dieback” in F. benjamina plants. Dieback was observed in Ficus benjamina trees in urban areas and gardens in Sonora during the hottest season (June to September) in 2014. Fungal isolates were obtained from different symptomatic plants. The morphological characteristics of these isolates were similar to each other and their pathogenicity was confirmed by observing necrotic lesions caused by four of these isolates in F. benjamina plants 40 days after inoculation. Concatenated sequences from the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS; KU141333 and KU141334), large subunit (LSU; MF508739 and MF508740) and RNA polymerase II subunit (RPB2; MF508741 and MF508742) of the DNA from two representative isolates were analyzed phylogenetically, showing that the NDFB002 and NDFB003 isolates form a separate clade with several strains of Neoscytalidium dimidiatum. These isolates were previously reported in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) GenBank. To our knowledge, this is the first report where N. dimidiatum is designated as a causal agent of branch dieback in F. benjamina plants in Mexico.

Keywords : branch necrosis; Botryosphaeriaceae; phylogenetic analysis; PCR.

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