Sooty blotch and flyspeck (SBFS) fungi colonize the surface wax layer of the fruit of apple, pear, persimmon, banana, orange, papaya, and several other cultivated tree and vine crops. In addition to colonizing cultivated fruit crops, SBFS fungi also grow on the surfaces of stems, twigs, leaves, and fruit of a wide range of wild plants. The disease occurs worldwide in regions with moist growing seasons. SBFS is regarded as a serious disease by fruit growers and plant pathologists because it can cause substantial economic damage. The smudges and stipples of SBFS often result in downgrading of fruit from premium fresh-market grade to processing use. This review describes the major shifts that have occurred during the past decade in understanding the genetic diversity of the SBFS complex, clarifying its biogeography and environmental biology, and developing improved management strategies.
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