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New fungi

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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 205, May 2010.

The February 2010 issue of the Biosecurity magazine (No. 96) listed two fungi as new to New Zealand – Phaeoacremonium rubrigenum and Heptameria obesa. Both were found during the course of high risk surveillance surveys.

Phaeoacremonium rubrigenum was isolated from branches of Melia azedarach with dieback symptoms in Napier. Other fungi, including a species of Botryosphaeria were also obtained from the live/dead margins. Whether P. rubrigenum is contributing to the dieback is unknown. Phaeoacremonium is a recently described genus associated with decline diseases of several woody hosts and with human infections (usually immuno-compromised).

In the Northern Hemisphere Phaeoacremonium rubrigenum has been isolated from bark beetles and their galleries in Quercus and Fraxinus and has also been associated with Esca disease of grapevines and with a disease of kiwifruit vines. The fungus has subsequently been found on the same host in Palmerston North.

Heptameria obesa was isolated from dead twigs and small branches of Pittosporum tenuifolium from Kawatira Junction in Nelson. Heptameria obesa has been recorded from Europe and North America on dead stems and twigs of shrubby species of Baccharis, Centaurea, Cirsium, Helichrysum, Inula, Antirrhinum and Scabiosa. It is considered to be saprophytic.

Margaret Dick

This information is intended for general interest only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific specialist advice on any matter and should not be relied on for that purpose. Scion will not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages, loss of profits, or any other intangible losses that result from using the information provided on this site.
(Scion is the trading name of the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited.)


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