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Natural and experimental host range of Sirococcus clavigignenti-juglandacearum

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Plant Disease 91(5):581-584


The fungus Sirococcus clavigignenti-juglandacearum causes butternut canker in North America and is not known to kill or seriously affect tree species other than butternut (Juglans cinerea). However, this putative exotic pathogen has been found on branches of black walnut (J. nigra) and heartnut (J. ailantifolia var. cordiformis), raising questions regarding the potential host range of the pathogen and its spread to new areas on tree hosts other than butternut. Results of artificial inoculations of several hardwood species indicated that the pathogen, although not causing lethal cankers, has the ability to colonize and survive in the wood of several genera, including Quercus, Carya, Corylus, Prunus, and Castanea. Several commercially important Persian walnut (J. regia) cultivars tested were moderately or highly susceptible, underscoring the importance of preventing the movement of the pathogen into commercial Juglans plantations in California, where its ability to cause disease and damage trees is unknown. Evidence for the presence of variation in aggressiveness among isolates of S. clavigignenti-juglandacearum was detected based on differences in canker lengths resulting from inoculations with two isolates of the pathogen. In a field test of several previously named butternut cultivars, all were found to be highly susceptible to the disease, calling into question the value of these selections for nut production or future restoration uses.


Ostry, M. E.; Moore, M. 2007. Natural and experimental host range of Sirococcus clavigignenti-juglandacearum. Plant Disease 91(5):581-584

Last updated on: June 7, 2007