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Flower blights of macadamia caused by Botrytis cinerea, Pestalotiopsis macadamiae and Neopestalotiopsis macadamiae in Australia

Olufemi Akinsanmi: The University of Queensland

<div>Flower blights are significant constraints to macadamia productivity in Australia. Their insidious nature leads to significant yield losses, which are difficult to quantify. Various pathogens belonging to different classes of fungi and oomycetes are associated with flower blights of macadamia. <em>Botrytis cinerea</em> causes Botrytis blight; <em>Pestalotiopsis macadamiae </em>and <em>Neopestalotiopsis macadamiae</em> cause Pestalotiopsis blight; <em>Cladosporium cladosporioide</em>s causes Cladosporium blight and <em>Phytophthora capsici </em>and <em>P. palmivora</em> cause Phytophthora blight or wet blight<em>. </em>In Australia, Botrytis blight and Pestalotiopsis blight are the most common flower blights. Epidemiological studies of flower blights including disease incidence and putative sources of pathogen inoculum were examined between and within growing seasons in macadamia cropping systems. Although each pathogen belongs to different groups, has contrasting life cycles and has different optimal weather conditions for infection and disease development, however, similar ecological factors are required for severe damage to macadamia flowers. These findings will contribute to an improved understanding of macadamia cropping systems frameworks. The use of linked simulation models for disease forecasting will support and help to define better management strategies for flower blights of macadamia.</div>