Characterization of Fungi Associated With Wood Decay of Tree Species and Grapevine in Greece

Plant Dis. 2017 Nov;101(11):1929-1940. doi: 10.1094/PDIS-12-16-1761-RE. Epub 2017 Aug 28.


A two-year survey was conducted to identify fungi associated with wood decay in a range of tree species and grapevine. Fifty-eight fungal strains isolated from plants of 18 species showing typical wood decay symptoms were characterized by morphological, physiological, and molecular analyses. By 5.8S rRNA gene-ITS sequencing analysis, these isolates were classified into 25 distinct operational taxonomic units, including important phytopathogenic species of the phyla Pezizomycotina and Agaricomycotina, such as Fomitiporia, Inonotus, Phellinus, Inocutis, Fuscoporia, Trametes, Fusarium, Eutypa, Phaeomoniella, Phaeoacremonium, and Pleurostomophora spp. The white rot basidiomycetes Fomitiporia mediterranea (20 isolates, 34.5%) and Inonotus hispidus (6 isolates, 10.3%) were the most prevalent. Pathogenicity tests revealed for the first time that certain fungal species of the genera Fomitiporia, Inonotus, Phellinus, Pleurostomophora, and Fusarium caused wood infection of various tree species in Greece and worldwide. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of F. mediterranea as the causal agent of wood decay in pear, pomegranate, kumquat, and silk tree. This is also the first record of Inonotus hispidus, Phellinus pomaceus, Pleurostomophora richardsiae, and Fusarium solani in apple, almond, avocado, and mulberry tree, respectively, whereas P. richardsiae was associated with wood infection of olive tree for the first time in Greece. Cross pathogenicity tests with F. mediterranea strains originated from grapevine applied on other woody hosts and from olive on grapevine demonstrated partial host specificity of the fungus. The potential of F. mediterranea to transinfect hosts other than those originated, along with the host range extension of the fungus, is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Fungi* / physiology
  • Greece
  • Plant Stems / metabolism
  • Plant Stems / microbiology
  • Trees* / microbiology
  • Vitis / microbiology*
  • Wood* / microbiology