New fungus found on pistachio trees in Italy

Picture 1: Symptoms caused by Liberomyces pistaciae sp. nov. ( Vitale et al)



Published on EurekAlert! The global source for science news.

Word of the day: Gummosis- Disgusting sticky mess caused by sap flows that are usually do to pest or pathogen damage


In 2010 Pistachio growers in Italy were seeing canker formation, gummosis, decline and possible death of their trees. Originally this was blamed on many other pathogens Septoria pistaciae, Botryosphaeria dothidea and  Verticillium dahliae just to name a few, but after 8 years of what seemed to be painstaking research it was discovered that a new species Liberomyces pistaciae sp. nov was probably causing these issues.

EurekAlert did a good job summarizing the main ideas, although they used more jargon than an average person might follow easily. They went into the details of some of the sampling and the methods, and even talked about the directions that these researchers wanted to take this new information, and touched on avoidance strategies to prevent spreading this fungus. This page long article does not go in depth about any of the molecular work or their work on optimal temperature ranges, and the methods seem incomplete if you don’t get into the meat of the paper.

The article gets a 9/10 for putting the main point across in a mostly concise way without having to take out any of the  important details.

Effectively this is a disease note, but it just goes to show that there are still new discoveries, and that the worst thing you can do is become complacent and assume the symptoms of a problem can always be explained away with past explanations.



Fun Fact Sicily is the pistachio growing hub in Italy.

Extra resource: This article explains a bit about the different species in the Pistacia genus

News Article:

Full paper:

Liberomyces pistaciae sp. nov., the causal agent of pistachio cankers and decline in Italy




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