Pest categorisation of Lasiodiplodia pseudotheobromae
The EFSA Plant Health Panel performed a pest categorisation of Lasiodiplodia pseudotheobromae, a clearly defined fungus of the family Botryosphaeriaceae, which was first described in 2008 as a cryptic species within the L. theobromae complex. The pathogen affects a wide range of woody perennial crops and ornamental plants causing root rot, damping-off, leaf spots, twig blight, cankers, stem-end rot, gummosis, branch dieback and pre- and post-harvest fruit rots. Lasiodiplodia pseudotheobromae is present in Africa, Asia, North and South America and Oceania and has also been reported from Spain with a restricted distribution. However, there is uncertainty on the status of the pathogen worldwide and in the EU because in the past, when molecular tools (particularly multigene phylogenetic analysis) were not available, the pathogen might have been misidentified as L. theobromae. Lasiodiplodia pseudotheobromae is not included in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072 and there are no interceptions in the EU. Because of the very wide host range of the pathogen, this pest categorisation focused on those hosts for which there is robust evidence that the pathogen was formally identified by a combination of morphology, pathogenicity and multilocus sequence analysis. Plants for planting, including seeds, fresh fruits and bark and wood of host plants as well as soil and other plant-growing media are the main pathways for the further entry of the pathogen into the EU. Host availability and climate suitability factors occurring in parts of the EU are favourable for the further establishment of the pathogen. In the area of its present distribution, including Spain, the pathogen has a direct impact on cultivated hosts. multilocus measures are available to prevent the further introduction and spread of the pathogen into the EU. Lasiodiplodia pseudotheobromae satisfies the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for this species to be regarded as potential Union quarantine pest.
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