Characterization of fungal species associated with cladode brown spot on Nopalea cochenillifera in Brazil

  • Cinthia ConfortoEmail author
  • Nelson Bernardi Lima
  • Fabio Junior Araújo Silva
  • Marcos Paz Saraiva Câmara
  • Sajeewa Maharachchikumbura
  • Sami Jorge Michereff


Cladode brown spot (CBS) is an important disease of Nopalea cochenillifera in the semiarid region of Northeastern Brazil. It has been reported in several countries, but its etiology is controversial, attributed to a complex of pathogens. Fifty fungal isolates were obtained and identified based on morphology and phylogeny, through analysis of the ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacers (ITS), translation elongation factor 1-alpha (TEF1-alpha), β-tubulin (TUB-2), second largest subunit of RNA polymerase (RPB2), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and the mating type locus MAT1–2 (ApMAT) partial gene sequences. Seven fungal general and twenty species were identified – Alternaria sp., A. longipes and A. tenuissima; Colletotrichum fructicola and C. siamense; Fusarium lunatum, F. incarnatum, and F. verticillioides; Lasiodiplodia euphorbicola, L. iraniensis, L. pseutheobromae, L. theobromae and Lasiodiplodia sp.; Neofusicoccum batangarum; Neopestalotiopsis australis, N. protearum and Neopestalotiopsis sp.; and Nigrospora sphaerica, N. hainanensis and Nigrospora sp. Four of these species had already been reported on Cactaceae of the genus Opuntia, but only N. batangarum, C. fructicola and C. siamense have been reported to date on the genus Nopalea. All isolates were pathogenic to detached cladodes of N. cochenillifera ‘Miúda’. Differences in aggressiveness were observed among the species, with L. iraniensis and F. lunatum characterized as the most aggressive species, whilst F. verticillioides as the least aggressive. This study provide important information on the fungi associated with cladode brown spot and improve the strategies for the management of disease on N. cochenillifera.


Cladode disease Prickly pear cactus Etiology Fungal pathogen Multilocus analysis 



This study was financed by Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuária (INTA, Argentina) and by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES, Brasil). The first author was partially supported by a doctor scholarship of the INTA. M. P. S. Câmara and S. J. Michereff also acknowledge the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, Brasil) research fellowship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors do not have any conflict of interest.

Informed consent

All authors have reviewed the manuscript and approved its submission to European Journal of Plant Pathology.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOCX 107 kb)


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cinthia Conforto
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nelson Bernardi Lima
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fabio Junior Araújo Silva
    • 3
  • Marcos Paz Saraiva Câmara
    • 3
  • Sajeewa Maharachchikumbura
    • 4
  • Sami Jorge Michereff
    • 5
  1. 1.Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Instituto de Patología Vegetal (Argentina)CIAP-INTACórdobaArgentina
  2. 2.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Unidad de Fitopatología y Modelización AgrícolaCONICET-UFYMACórdobaArgentina
  3. 3.Departamento de AgronomiaUniversidade Federal Rural de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Crop Sciences, College of Agriculturaland Marine SciencesSultan Qaboos UniversityAl-Khod 123Oman
  5. 5.Centro de Ciências Agrárias e da BiodiversidadeUniversidade Federal do CaririCratoBrazil

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