Identification of inoculum sources of Fusicladium eriobotryae in loquat orchards in Spain

  • G. Elena
  • M. Berbegal
  • E. González-Domínguez
  • J. ArmengolEmail author


Fusicladium eriobotryae is the causal agent of loquat scab, the main disease damaging fruit, leaves and young twigs of this crop. A two-growing season study (2015–2016 and 2016–2017) was carried out in two loquat orchards (cv “Algerie”) to determine the inoculum sources of F. eriobotryae by direct observation of conidia, pathogen isolation on culture media and detection using a new real time PCR protocol developed in this study. One-year-old twigs, fruit peduncles and fruit mummies were randomly sampled three times per growing season on each orchard, and inflorescences only at flowering. Conidia of F. eriobotryae were not found and the isolation of the pathogen was neither possible from any sample in both seasons. Specific primers FUG2F and FUG2R, were designed to detect and quantify DNA of F. eriobotryae on plant material, with a limit of detection (LOD) established at 48.6 fg/μl. The DNA of the pathogen was not detected by real time PCR in fruit mummies nor inflorescences. It was detected in fruit peduncles and twigs in the season 2016–2017 with concentrations ranging from 50 to 2742 fg/μl, confirming that this two loquat organs might act as potential inoculum sources for F. eriobotryae. The detection of F. eriobotryae only in this season agrees with the predictions of an epidemiological model for this pathogen. Our results indicate that in years with a high disease pressure, fruit twigs and peduncles might act as a source of inoculum of new infections the following year.


Loquat scab Epidemiology Pathogen detection qPCR 



This study was funded by ‘Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA)’ grant number RTA2013-00004-C03-03, and FEDER Funds. G. Elena was supported by the Spanish post-doctoral grant Juan de la Cierva-Formación. We thank the E. Soler from the Cooperativa Agrícola de Callosa d’En Sarrià (Alicante, Spain) for his collaboration during orchard sampling, and A. Ramón-Albalat and V. Serra for their technical assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Human and animal rights

The authors declare that ethical standards have been followed and that no human participants or animals were involved in this research.

Supplementary material

10658_2019_1892_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (39 kb)
Fig. S1 Standard regression curve plots of the qPCR analysis. A dilution series of Fusicladium eriobotryae FeV40 DNA spanning six orders of magnitude (1/10, 1/100, 1/1000, 1/10,000, 1/100,000 and 1/1000,000) amplified with the primers FUG2F and FUG2R was used to generate the standard curve (PPTX 38 kb)


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Agroforestal MediterráneoUniversitat Politècnica de ValènciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Horta srl.PiacenzaItaly

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