Neofusicoccum parvum causes stem canker of thornless blackberry in Italy
Important damage caused by the fungus Neofusicoccum parvum in thornless blackberry in southern Italy is reported for the first time. The most noticeable symptoms were stem cankers and yellowing of the foliage. Cankers on stems were initially elongated, and infected tissue was darkly pigmented. The fungus was identified based on morphological characteristics and by sequencing the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region and part of the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (EF1-a) gene. Pathogenicity tests confirmed that N. parvum caused the disease on blackberry, inducing symptoms similar to those occurring under natural conditions. This is potentially a serious disease of blackberry in southern Italy, where cultivation is expanding.
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