Taxonomy of fruitrotting fungal pathogens whats really out there


  • P.R. Johnston
  • S.R. Pennycook
  • M.A. Manning



This paper discusses the role of taxonomy in understanding the epidemiology of fruit rotting diseases and in determining the biosecurity status of the fungi associated with those diseases The taxonomy of most highly specialised fruitrotting pathogens is well understood but some degree of uncertainty or confusion applies to the taxonomy of many less specialised pathogens The taxonomic lumping of morphologically similar but genetically and biologically distinct taxa often confounds our ability to understand diseases frustrates the interpretation of research data and can result in misinformation about biosecurity status Such unspecialised pathogens are widespread in New Zealand but whether they cause a problem in a specific orchard depends on environmental conditions management of the orchard and host plant susceptibility As management practices and preferred cultivars change so does the spectrum of these lowspecificity taxa that cause disease problems Five examples illustrate the need for unambiguous taxonomy to facilitate more effective control and management strategies of plant pathogens Accurate identification allows a clear understand the biology of the pathogens and subsequently the epidemiology of their associated diseases




How to Cite

Johnston, P., Pennycook, S. and Manning, M. 2005. Taxonomy of fruitrotting fungal pathogens whats really out there. New Zealand Plant Protection. 58, (Aug. 2005), 42–46. DOI:




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