Cryptodiaporthe comi is the cansal agent of a destructive disease called golden canker, which affects Cornus alternifolia, known as the pagoda or alternate-leaved dogwood. Due to the association between Cr. corni and pagoda dogwood, we sought to determine whether this Fungus was capable of living as an endophyte in pagoda dogwood and causing this disease. Forty asymptomatic stems of plants growing in nature were sampled from five sites across Minnesota. Cryptodiaporthe corni was present in more than half (62.5%) of the stems. Asymptomatic nursery material also was sampled, and the Fungus was isolated from a small percentage (20%) of them. Inoculations carried out in the field and greenhouse suggested the endophytic isolates of Cr. corni were capable of causing disease. Asymptomatic stems of trees in the field inoculated with non-colonized (control) grain seed developed golden canker as frequently as those inoculated with grain seed colonized by Cr. corni, suggesting that the fungus was already present in these plants. In greenhouse pathogenicity trials an isolate of Cr. corni obtained from an asymptomatic stem was capable of causing golden canker disease, thus demonstrating causality, fulfilling Koch's postulates. The taxonomic place ment of Cr. corni within Cryphonectriaceae was determined. Phylogenetic analysis of the ITS rDNA and β-tubulin gene regions, along with morphological characteristics, suggested Cr. corni is distinct from other genera within this family. Therefore, we propose a new genus, Aurantioporthe, as well as the new combination, A. corni, to accommodate this species within Cryphonectriaceae.
- Golden canker
- Pagoda dogwood