Australasian Plant Pathology

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 45–57 | Cite as

Botryosphaeriales associated with stem blight and dieback of blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) in New South Wales and Western Australia

  • Kelly A. Scarlett
  • Lucas A. Shuttleworth
  • Damian Collins
  • Chris T. Rothwell
  • David I. Guest
  • Rosalie DanielEmail author
Original Paper


Stem blight and dieback caused by species of the Botryosphaeriales are important diseases of blueberry worldwide. In recent years, stem blight and dieback symptoms have been increasingly observed affecting blueberry production in Australia. Thirty samples were collected from symptomatic plants in an orchard at Corindi NSW, a major blueberry growing region. In addition, samples from symptomatic blueberry plants were submitted by growers to the Plant Health Diagnostic Service, NSW Department of Primary Industries from eight orchards in New South Wales (NSW), and a single orchard in Western Australia (WA). Culture isolations, DNA sequencing and pathogenicity testing were undertaken to determine the species causing the disease. Fifty-two isolates were recovered in total, forty-eight from NSW, and four from WA. A multi-locus sequencing approach was used to assist species identification including the internal transcribed spacer region of rDNA including 5.8S (ITS), partial translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef1-α), and DNA-directed RNA polymerase II second largest subunit (rpb2). Eight species from three genera were identified; the most common was Neofusicoccum parvum (n = 34), followed by N. kwambonambiense (n = 7), N. occulatum (n = 5), L. theobromae (n = 2), Botryosphaeria dothidea (n = 1), N. australe (n = 1), N. macroclavatum (n = 1) and Lasiodiplodia pseudotheobromae (n = 1). The pathogenicity testing showed all isolates produced lesions on blueberry stems. This study provides the first survey of Botryosphaeriales causing blueberry stem blight and dieback in Australia, and is a valuable resource for plant pathologists and growers trying to manage the disease.


Botryosphaeriales Botryosphaeria Stem blight Blueberry Vaccinium 



We appreciate the support of the Australian Blueberry Growers for enabling access to their orchards to collect samples and provide advice. Thank you to Karren Cowan of the Plant Pathology Herbarium, Orange for depositing cultures and providing DAR numbers and to Andrew Daley and Brenda Gorrie from the Plant Health Diagnostic Service at EMAI, NSW DPI for providing additional isolates.


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Copyright information

© Australasian Plant Pathology Society Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sydney Institute of Agriculture, School of Life and Environmental SciencesThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Primary IndustriesElizabeth Macarthur Agricultural InstituteMenangleAustralia
  3. 3.Central Coast Centre for Primary Industries, Department of Primary IndustriesOurimbahAustralia

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