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Spain: Researchers delve into biodiversity of fungus that causes olive anthracnose

Updated Nov 17, 2021
The Department of Agronomy of the University of Córdoba leads an international study in which the different species of the pathogen are glimpsed thanks to the samples collected over 25 years. The olive tree is one of the most important woody crops in the world, whose cultivated area occupies more than 11 million hectares (FAO, 2019).
Due to its economic, social and cultural importance, the study of the pathogens that affect the tree and the fruit is decisive to find control methods that prevent damage. Among the foliar diseases that affect the olive tree, anthracnose is considered one of the most important. This disease, popularly known as "soapy olive", is caused by species of fungi of the genus Colletotrichum, and causes high losses in fruit yield and oil quality during epidemic years. This is why a team from the María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence - Department of Agronomy of the University of Córdoba (DAUCO) has conducted an international study that collects the specific characterization of a collection of 185 Colletotrichum isolates (samples in the which is the pure organism extracted from olive trees with symptoms of anthracnose) from various enclaves around the world. Previously, only two complex species of the genus Colletotrichum were known to cause olive anthracnose, but after various taxonomic ...
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