Bosque (Valdivia) - Detection of Colletotrichum pyricola on urban trees of Embothrium coccineum in Chile
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Bosque (Valdivia)

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  Bosque (Valdivia) vol.38 no.1 Valdivia 2017



Detection of Colletotrichum pyricola on urban trees of Embothrium coccineum in Chile

Detección de Colletotrichum pyricola asociado a árboles urbanos de Embothrium coccineum en Chile


Mario Zapata a*, Alex Opazo b

* Corresponding author: a Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero, Laboratorio Regional Chillan, Unidad de Fitopatología, Claudio Arrau 738, Chillan, Chile, tel.: 56 42 2221235,
b Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero, División de Protección Agrícola y Forestal, Departamento de Sanidad Vegetal, Sub-Departamento de Vigilancia y Control de Plagas Forestales, Santiago, Chile.


The genus Colletotrichum comprises several species in cryptic complexes that cannot be easily recognizable using morphological and cultural characteristics. As a consequence of the lack of morphological characters suitable for identification, DNA sequence analyses are now typically used as the primary basis in diagnosis and description of new species of Colletotrichum. In this study, based on a multi-locus phylogeny analysis, C. pyricola was identified on leaves of Embothrium coccineum in Chile, corresponding to the first report of this fungus in the country. Colletotrichum pyricola is a member of the C. acutatum complex, morphologically sharing features with several species of this group, being necessary the combination of morphological and molecular data for its identification. Species of Colletotrichum cause diseases in a wide range of hosts, making it important to establish an accurate diagnosis of the species for plant pathology or quarantine purposes.

Key words: Colletotrichum pyricola, Embothrium coccineum, anthracnose, morphological characteristics, multi-locus analysis.


El género Colletotrichum comprende varias especies crípticas dentro de complejos que no pueden ser fácilmente identificables usando características morfológicas y culturales. Como consecuencia de la falta de caracteres morfológicos adecuados para la identificación, los análisis de secuencias de ADN son comúnmente usados, en la actualidad, en el diagnóstico e identificación de nuevas especies. En este estudio, mediante análisis filogenético multi-locus se identificó a C. pyricola en hojas de Embothrium coccineum, correspondiente a primer reporte de este hongo en Chile. Colletotrichum pyricola pertenece al complex de C. acutatum, morfológicamente comparte características con varias especies de este grupo, siendo necesario la combinación de datos morfológicos y moleculares para su identificación. Especies de Colletotrichum causan enfermedades en un amplio rango de hospederos, haciendo importante establecer con precisión el diagnóstico de la especie para fines fitopatológicos o de cuarentena.

Palabras clave: Colletotrichum pyricola, Embothrium coccineum, antracnosis, características morfológicas, filogenia multi-locus.



Embothrium coccineum J.R. Forst. et G. Forst, known by the common names of notro, ciruelillo or fosforito, is a member of the Proteaceae family, endemic of the southern forests of South America whose latitude distribution in Chile extends from Curicó - Linares (35° S) to Tierra del Fuego (55° S) (Rovere et al. 2010). Due to its ornamental value, this species has been used in landscaping, park and garden designs, especially in public spaces (Teiller 2008). As a native species and part of the urban trees, it has been object of phytosanitary surveys by the Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero (SAG). In surveillance activities carried out in May 2015, a Colletotrichum species associated with leaf spots was detected on E. coccineum, in the county of Chillán Viejo, region of Biobio, Chile. The affected tree was an isolated individual showing chlorosis symptoms and partial defoliation of branches. Preliminary results, using specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers, identified the specie as C. acutatum sensu lato (Sreenivasaprasad et al. 1996, EPPO 2003). Currently it is known that C. acutatum sensu lato is a complex comprising about 30 species closely related, sharing hosts and morphological and cultural characteristics that require a multi-locus DNA analysis for its correct identification (Damm et al. 2012). Due to that C. acutatum sensu stricto is part of this complex, and as a pathogen is considered a quarantine pest on several agriculture crops in Chile (SAG 2015), it is necessary to establish with precision the diagnostic of the detected species. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to determine the species of Colletotrichum found on E. coccineum, through the morphological and multi-locus molecular analysis.


Samples and isolates. The sample analyzed corresponds to leaves of Embothrium coccineum collected in May of 2015, from an isolated tree, located in the urban park Bernardo O'Higgins of Chillan Viejo County (36°51'45" S, 72°23'46" W). The leaves with symptoms of anthracnose were left in a wet chamber at room temperature for seven days (18 ± 5 °C). After this period, abundant orange masses of conidia characteristic of the Colletotrichum genus was observed, from which monosporic cultures were established in potato dextrose agar (PDA, Merck 110130). One