Species of family Botryosphaeriaceae and genus Diaporthe (anamorph: genus Phomopsis, family Diaporthaceae) were reported and caused diseases on various fruit and nut trees in California. In the last several years, diseases on English walnut (Juglans regia) caused by species of Botryosphaeriaceae and Diaporthe were observed frequently in California. Disease symptoms include stem canker; shoot canker and blight; twig, leaf, and fruit blight; and necrotic leaf lesions. Isolates of the pathogen were collected from English walnut in 13 counties in California. The aims of this study were to identify these isolates and to test their pathogenicity to English walnut cultivars. In total, 159 California isolates were identified based on comparisons of DNA sequence data of the internal transcribed spacer, translation elongation factor 1-α, and β-tubulin gene regions, and combined with the morphological features of the cultures and conidia. Research results revealed that isolates represent 10 species of Botryosphaeriaceae and two species of Diaporthe. These species include Botryosphaeria dothidea, Diplodia mutila, D. seriata, Dothiorella iberica, Lasiodiplodia citricola, Neofusicoccum mediterraneum, N. nonquaesitum, N. parvum, N. vitifusiforme, Neoscytalidium dimidiatum, Diaporthe neotheicola, and D. rhusicola. Pathogenicity on three English walnut cultivars (‘Chandler’, ‘Tulare’, and ‘Vina’) using a mycelium plug inoculation method revealed that all these species are pathogenic to all the tested cultivars, with L. citricola and N. parvum being the most pathogenic species, followed by N. mediterraneum, N. dimidiatum, and B. dothidea. Chandler was more tolerant to infection than Tulare and Vina. Results in this study determined that multiple numbers of the Botryosphaeriaceae fungi and two Diaporthe spp. cause cankers and blights of English walnut and vary in their virulence from highly to slightly virulent, respectively.
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