Circular to irregular brown leaf spots, 0.2 to 1.5 cm in diameter, were commonly observed on kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) cv. Hayward plants in the Artvin-Arhavi region of northeastern Turkey. Leaf spots sometimes covered large portions of infected leaves, giving them a blighted appearance. Fruit symptoms consisted of brown, sunken, shriveled areas that were 0.5 to 3 cm in diameter. A fungus, later identified as a Pestalotiopsis sp. (1), was consistently isolated from diseased tissues. Pathogenicity tests were performed on 2-year-old kiwifruit plants and mature fruits at 18/22°C (day/night). A spore suspension (1 × 106 conidia per ml) was sprayed on leaves of 2-year-old kiwifruit plants. Agar pieces, 3 mm in diameter, from 10-day-old cultures also were applied to the leaves. Controls were treated with water and agar alone. Plants were covered with plastic bags for 3 days to ensure high humidity. After 2 weeks, disease symptoms were observed on inoculated leaves. Pestalotiopsis sp. was consistently isolated from these regions. Agar pieces from 10-day-old cultures were placed in small wounds made on the surfaces of mature, surface-disinfested fruits. Controls were treated with agar pieces alone. Softening of tissues next to the wound was observed 1 week after inoculation. Pestalotiopsis sp. was isolated from these areas. No symptoms were observed on noninoculated leaves or fruits. It was concluded that this disease is caused by Pestalotiopsis sp. This is the first report of its occurrence in Turkey.
Reference: (1) T. R. Nag Raj. Coelomycetous anamorphs with appendage bearing conidia. Mycologue Publications, Ontario, Canada, 1993.