Pest/Pathogen of the Month: July

Scientific name:  Teratosphaeria destructans

Common names: 

Teratosphaeria destructans is one of the most devastating pathogens to Eucalyptus forestry. It causes severe shoot and leaf blight on young Eucalyptus plantation trees and was, until recently, only known from South East Asia. In South Africa, T. destructans was first discovered in the KwaZulu-Natal Province by the FABI team in 2015. It has subsequently also spread to plantations of E. grandis and its hybrids in other sub-tropical parts of the country. Some good news is that the South African T. destructans population consists of a single genotype and mating type. This indicates that sexual reproduction is currently not possible and that the pathogen most likely entered South Africa as a single introduction. Care should be taken not to introduce the opposite mating type or additional genotypes.

Photo credit: https://www.fabinet.up.ac.za/index.php/news-item?id=274