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New eucalypt leaf fungi recognised

Scion is the leading provider of forest-related knowledge in New Zealand
Formerly known as the Forest Research Institute, Scion has been a leader in research relating to forest health for over 50 years. The Rotorua-based Crown Research Institute continues to provide science that will protect all forests from damage caused by insect pests, pathogens and weeds. The information presented below arises from these research activities.

From Forest Health News 115, February 2002.

 Leaf damage caused by species of Pseudocercospora and Cercospora is found on a wide variety of Eucalyptus species in different parts of the world. Spots produced by these fungi are typically angular in appearance, because leaf veins tend to restrict lesion extension. Most species are of minor importance but heavy infection may sometimes lead to premature defoliation.

Some species are the asexual stages of species of Mycosphaerella. A review of Pseudocercospora on eucalypts in New Zealand is currently being undertaken by mycologist Dr Uwe Braun from Germany, using specimens from the Forest Research Mycological Herbarium in Rotorua. One of our most common species is P. eucalyptorum , also found in many other parts of the world. This species occurs on E. nitens throughout the country, and may cause extensive leaf spotting on both juvenile and adult foliage. The review has revealed two undescribed species of Pseudocercospora. One, like P. eucalyptorum , occurs on E. nitens , while the other has been found on a number of eucalypts in the subgenus Monocalyptus , such as E. delegatensis, E. obliqua, E. regnans, E. stenostoma, E.  regnans × obligua, E. dendromorpha, E. fastigata, and E. oreades. Eucalyptus regnans is particularly prone to infection by this species and young trees may be severely affected. Specimens of Pseudocercospora on Lophostemon confertus (in the same family as Eucalyptus) were identified as P. sawadae. This species was first described on guava, another relative, in Taiwan.

(Margaret Dick, Forest Research)

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(Scion is the trading name of the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited.)


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