|Authors: ||T.J. Michailides, D.P. Morgan, M.A. Doster|
The following is a list of major and minor fungal diseases of pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) reported in California.
There are four major diseases: 1) Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium dahliae; (Thin-leaf decline is a manifestation of the Verticillium wilt disease.) 2) Botrytis blossom and shoot blight caused by Botrytis cinerea; 3) Alternaria late blight caused by Alternaria alternata; and 4) Botryosphaeria panicle and shoot blight caused by Botryosphaeria dothidea. Minor diseases recorded include: 1) Armillaria root rot (or shoestring root rot) caused by Armillaria mellea; 2) Schizophyllum wood decay caused by Schizophyllum commune; 3) Sclerotinia shoot blight caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum; 4) Phomopsis shoot blight caused by a Phomopsis sp.; 5) Powdery mildew caused by an unidentified species of powdery mildew fungus; and 6) Septoria leaf and fruit spot caused by Septoria pistaciae in California or Septoria pistaciarum in Arizona.
Pistachios fruits are attacked by: 1) Stigmatomycosis caused by two yeasts: Nematospora coryli or Aureobasidium pullulans which are transmitted by large hemipteran pests such as stinkbugs (Thyanta pallidovirens, Chlorochroa uhleri, and C. ligata) and a leaffooted bug (Leptoglossus clypealis); and 2) Aspergillus blights caused by Aspergillus niger and other Aspergillus spp.
Occasionally, A. flavus and/or A. parasiticus can infect pistachio (mainly the early splits and/or those infested by the navel orange worm) and produce aflatoxin.
Recent research and methods for controlling some of these diseases will be discussed.
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