Is Neonectria ditissima endophytic? Detecting the asymptomatic colonisation of plant tissues by a fungal tree pathogen

  • Leone Olivieri (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


The fungus Neonectria ditissima, causal agent of European apple canker, is able to produce an asymptomatic infection which often results in devastating damage in newly planted orchards. Over the past decades, records in the UK have shown that young trees, symptomless when leaving the nursery, can develop canker lesions on the main stem up to 3 years after transplanting. Evidence supports a nursery origin of these infections. Based on the current knowledge, N. ditissima is speculated to colonise plant tissues as an endophyte, before switching to a pathogenic phase. This current project aims to increase our understanding of disease anatomy and test the hypothesis of the pathogen’s endophytic status. We have established a detection method to track N. ditissima in asymptomatic woody tissues of apple trees. By localising the spread of the fungus in artificially inoculated plants, we seek to determine the temporal and spatial dynamics of fungal colonization of tissues, from the establishment of the infection to disease expression. Our results will provide further insight into the biology of the fungus, as well as valuable information for the implementation of novel control strategies.
Period18 Mar 2019
Event titleMolecular Biology of Plant Pathogens 2019
Event typeConference
LocationNorwich, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational