European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 153, Issue 2, pp 503–515 | Cite as

Teratosphaeria stem canker disease on Eucalypt in Italy

  • Salvatore Vitale
  • Laura Luongo
  • Etienne G. J. Danchin
  • Giovanni Mughini
  • Maria Gras
  • Massimo Galli
  • Alessandra BelisarioEmail author


The disease originally named as Coniothyrium canker was observed in Italy for the first time in late summer 2015. The outbreak involved several trees of a hybrid clone of E. camaldulensis × E. viminalis, and few E. camaldulensis trees, while the parental species E. viminalis as well as other eucalypts species, including E. grandis, did not show any symptoms. The pathogen was identified as Teratosphaeria gauchensis on the basis of morphological and molecular evidences, and Koch’s postulates were fulfilled. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of the sole T. gauchensis strains based on four concatenated genes (ITS, β-Tub, TEF-1α, and ATP6) grouped all the Italian isolates together with those from Hawaii, Ethiopia in one paraphyletic group, which included a South-American subclade. A further Bayesian analysis based on two genes (ITS and TEF-1α) which included 81 sequences of closely related species besides T. gauchensis namely, T. stellenboschiana and T. zuluensis, showed a certain level of variability within T. gauchensis clade in which T. stellenboschiana was nested. South-American strains confirmed to be high variable in both analysis. The outbreak of Teratosphaeria stem canker in Italy appears to be as a result of a recent introduction, from several independent introductions. This is consistent with the fact that the Italian isolates do not form a single monophyletic group but are interspersed by other geographical isolates.


Eucalyptus canker Bayesian inference Eucalyptus camaldulensis Teratosphaeria gauchensis 



We are grateful to Francesco Menta, and Alvaro Pedemonti for their support in the fieldworks.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

We declare herein that our paper is original and unpublished elsewhere, and that this manuscript complies to the Ethical Rules applicable for this journal.

Dr. Alessandra Belisario, on behalf of all the authors in the paper.


  1. Andjic, V., Whyte, G., Hardy, G., & Burgess, T. (2010). New Teratosphaeria species occurring on eucalypts in Australia. Fungal Diversity, 43, 27–38. Scholar
  2. Capella-Gutiérrez, S., Silla-Martínez, J. M., & Gabaldón, T. (2009). TrimAl: a tool for automated alignment trimming in large-scale phylogenetic analyses. Bioinformatics, 25(15), 1972–1973. Scholar
  3. Carbone, I., & Kohn, L. (1999). A method for designing primer sets for speciation studies in filamentous ascomycetes. Mycologia, 91, 553–556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cortinas, M. N., Koch, N., Thane, J., Wingfield, B. D., & Wingfield, M. J. (2004). First record of the Eucalyptus stem canker pathogen, Coniothyrium zuluense from Hawaii. Australasian Plant Pathology, 33, 309–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cortinas, M. N., Crous, P. W., Wingfield, B. D., & Wingfield, M. J. (2006). Multi-gene phylogenies and phenotypic characters distinguish two species within the Colletogloeopsis zuluensis complex associated with Eucalyptus stem cankers. Studies in Mycology, 55, 133–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cortinas, M. N., Barnes, I., Wingfield, B. D., & Wingfield, M. J. (2011). Unexpected genetic diversity revealed in the Eucalyptus canker pathogen Teratosphaeria gauchensis. Australasian Plant Pathology, 40, 497–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crous, P. W., Groenewald, J. Z., Summerell, B. A., Wingfield, B. D., & Wingfield, M. J. (2009). Co-occurring species of Teratosphaeria on Eucalyptus. Persoonia, 22, 38–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gezahgne, A., Roux, J., Thu, P. Q., & Wingfield, M. J. (2003). Coniothyrium stem canker of Eucalyptus, new to Argentina and Vietnam. South African Journal of Science, 99, 587–588.Google Scholar
  9. Gezahgne, A., Cortinas, M. N., Wingfield, M. J., & Roux, J. (2005). Characterisation of the Coniothyrium stem canker pathogen on Eucalyptus camaldulensis in Ethiopia. Australasian Plant Pathology, 34, 85–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Glass, N. L., & Donaldson, G. C. (1995). Development of primer sets designed for use with the PCR to amplify conserved genes from filamentous ascomycetes. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 61, 1323–1330.Google Scholar
  11. Katoh, K., & Standley, D. M. (2013). MAFFT multiple sequence alignment software version 7: improvements in performance and usability. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 30(4), 772–780.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kretzer, A., & Bruns, T. D. (1999). Use of ATP6 in fungal phylogenetics: an example from Boletales. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 13, 483–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kuck, P., & Longo, G. C. (2014). FASconCAT-G: extensive functions for multiple sequence alignment preparations concerning phylogenetic studies. Frontiers in Zoology, 11, 81. Scholar
  14. Machua, J., Jimu, L., Njuguna, J., Wingfield, M. J., Mwenje, E., & Roux, J. (2016). First report of Teratosphaeria gauchensis causing stem canker of Eucalyptus in Kenya. Forest Pathology, 46(2), 168–170. Scholar
  15. Pérez, C. A., Wingfield, M. J., Altier, N. A., & Blanchette, R. A. (2009). Mycosphaerellaceae and Teratosphaeriaceae associated with Eucalyptus leaf diseases and stem cankers in Uruguay. Forest Pathology, 39, 349–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Quaedvlieg, W., Binder, M., Groenewald, J. Z., Summerell, B. A., Carnegie, A. J., Burgess, T. I., & Crous, P. W. (2014). Introducing the consolidated species concept to resolve species in the Teratosphaeriaceae. Persoonia, 33, 1–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ronquist, F., & Huelsenbeck, J. P. (2003). MrBayes 3: Bayesian phylogenetic inference under mixed models. Bioinformatics, 19(12), 1572–1574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Roux, J., Wingfield, M. J., & Cibriàn, D. (2002). First report of Coniothyrium canker of Eucalyptus in Mexico. Plant Pathology, 51, 382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Silva, M. R. C., Diogo, E., Braganҫa, H., Machado, H., & Phillips, A. J. L. (2015). Teratosphaeria gauchensis associated with trunk, stem and foliar lesions of Eucalyptus globulus in Portugal. Forest Pathology, 45, 224–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. White, T. J., Bruns, T., Lee, S., & Taylor, J. (1990). Amplification and direct sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA genes for phylogenetics. In M. A. Innis, D. H. Gelfand, J. J. Sninsky, & T. J. White (Eds.), PCR protocols: A guide to methods and applications (pp. 315–322). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  21. Wingfield, M. J., Crous, P. W., & Coutinho, T. A. (1996). A serious canker disease of Eucalyptus in South Africa caused by a new species of Coniothyrium. Mycopathologia, 136, 139–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salvatore Vitale
    • 1
  • Laura Luongo
    • 1
  • Etienne G. J. Danchin
    • 2
  • Giovanni Mughini
    • 3
  • Maria Gras
    • 3
  • Massimo Galli
    • 1
  • Alessandra Belisario
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA)- Centro di Ricerca Difesa e Certificazione (DC)RomeItaly
  2. 2.INRAUniversité Côte d’Azur, CNRS, ISASophia-AntipolisFrance
  3. 3.Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA)- Centro di Ricerca Foreste e Legno (FL)RomeItaly

Personalised recommendations