Vol. 60 No. 2 (2021)

Biological and molecular characterization of seven Diaporthe species associated with kiwifruit shoot blight and leaf spot in China

Yamin DU
College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei
Xianhong WANG
State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei
Yashuang GUO
State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei
State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei
Yuhong PENG
State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei
College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei
Guoping WANG
College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei

Published 2021-09-13


  • Actinidia,
  • phylogeny,
  • pathogenicity

How to Cite

Y. DU, “Biological and molecular characterization of seven Diaporthe species associated with kiwifruit shoot blight and leaf spot in China”, Phytopathol. Mediterr., vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 177–198, Sep. 2021.


Diaporthe species are significant pathogens, saprobes, and endophytes, with comprehensive host association and geographic distribution. These fungi cause severe dieback, cankers, leaf spots, blights, and stem-end rot of fruits on different plant hosts. This study, explored the occurrence, diversity and pathogenicity of Diaporthe spp. associated with Actinidia chinensis and A. deliciosa in the main kiwifruit production areas of China. Diaporthe isolates (284) derived from 106 diseased leaf and branch samples were examined. Multi-locus phylogenetic analyses and morphology of 43 representative isolates revealed that seven Diaporthe species were obtained, including D. alangii, D. compactum, D. eres, D. hongkongensis, D. sojae, D. tectonae, and D. unshiuensis. Pathogenicity tests were performed on kiwifruit fruits, leaves and branches. Koch’s postulates confirmed all species were pathogenic. D. alangii and D. tectonae were the most aggressive species, followed by D. eres, D. sojae, D. hongkongensis, D. unshiuensis, and D. compactum. Host range evaluation showed that the seven Diaporthe species could also infect apricot, apple, peach, pear, and plum.  This is the first report of D. alangii, D. compactum, D. sojae, D. tectonae, and D. unshiuensis infecting kiwifruit in China, increasing understanding of the Diaporthe complex causing diseases of kiwifruit plants, to assist effective disease management.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Bai, Q., Wang, G. P., Hong, N., 2017. First Report of Diaporthe tulliensis and Diaporthe actinidiae Causing Kiwifruit Stem Canker in Hubei and Anhui Provinces, China. Plant Disease, 101: 508.
Bai, Q., Zhai, L. F., Chen, X., Hong, N., Xu, W. X., Wang, G. P., 2015. Biological and Molecular Characterization of Five Phomopsis Species Associated with Pear Shoot Canker in China. Plant Disease 99: 1704-1712.
Beraha, L., O'Brien, M. J., 1979. Diaporthe melonis sp. nov., a New Soft Rot of Market Cantaloupes. Journal of Phytopathology 94: 199-207.
Carbone, L., Kohn, L. M., 1999. A method for designing primer sets for speciation studies in filamentous ascomycetes. Mycologia 91: 553-556.
Diaz, G. A., Latorre, B. A., Lolas, M., Ferrada, E., Naranjo, P., Zoffoli, J. P., 2017. Identification and Characterization of Diaporthe ambigua, D. australafricana, D. novem, and D. rudis Causing a Postharvest Fruit Rot in Kiwifruit. Plant Disease 101: 1402-1410.
Dissanayake, A. J., Liu, M., Zhang, W., Chen, Z., Udayanga, D., … Kevin, D. H., 2014. Morphological and molecular characterisation of Diaporthe species associated with grapevine trunk disease in China. Fungal Biology 119: 283-294.
Doilom, M., Dissanayake, A. J., Wanasinghe, D. N., Boonmee, S., Liu, J. K., … Kevin D. H., 2016. Microfungi on Tectona grandis (teak) in Northern Thailand. Fungal Diversity 82: 107-182.
Elfar, K., Torres, R., Diaz, G. A., Latorre, B. A., 2013. Characterization of Diaporthe australafricana and Diaporthe spp. Associated with Stem Canker of Blueberry in Chile. Plant Disease 97: 1042-1050.
Erper, I., Turkkan, M., Ozcan, M., Luongo, L., Belisario, A., 2017. Characterization of Diaprthe honkongensis Species Causing Stem-End Rot on Kiwifruit in Turkey. Journal of Plant Pathology 99: 779-782.
Fan, X. L., Bezerra, J. D. P., Tian, C. M., Crous, P. W., 2018. Families and genera of diaporthalean fungi associated with canker and dieback of tree hosts. Persoonia 40: 119-134.
Feng, L., Qu, Z., Cheng, J., Xie, J., Fu, Y., Guo, D., 2019. First Report of Postharvest Rot Caused by Rhizopus oryzae of Kiwifruit in Shandong Province, China. Plant Disease 103: 2951.
Freeman, S., Talma, T., Shabi, E., 1996. Characterization of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Isolates from Avocado and Almond Fruits with Molecular and Pathogenicity Tests. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 62: 1014-1020.
Fu, M., Crous, P. W., Bai, Q., Zhang, P. F., Xiang, J., … Wang, G. P., 2018. Colletotrichum species associated with anthracnose of Pyrus spp. in China. Persoonia 42: 1-35.
Gao, Y. H., Liu, F., Duan, W. J., Crous, P. W., Cai, L., 2017. Diaporthe is paraphyletic. IMA Fungus 8: 153-187.
Gao, Y. H., Su, Y., Sun, W., Cai, L., 2015. Diaporthe species occurring on Lithocarpus glabra in China, with descriptions of five new species. Fungal Biology 119: 295-309.
Gao, Y. H., Sun, W., Su, Y. Y., Cai, L., 2014. Three new species of Phomopsis in Gutianshan Nature Reserve in China. Mycological Progress 13: 111-121.
Glass, N. L., Donaldson, G. C., 1995. Development of Primer Sets Designed for Use with the PCR To Amplify Conserved Genes from Filamentous Ascomycetes. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 61: 1323-1330.
Gomes, R. R., Glienke, C., Videira, S. I. R., Lombard, L., Groenewald, J. Z., Crous, P. W., 2013. Diaporthe: a Genus of Endophytic, Saprobic and Plant Pathogenic Fungi. Persoonia 31: 1-41.
Guarnaccia, V., Crous, P. W., 2017. Emerging citrus diseases in Europe caused by species of Diaporthe. IMA Fungus 8: 317-334.
Guo, Y. S., Crous, P. W., Bai, Q., Fu, M., Yang, M. M., … Wang, G. P., 2020. High diversity of Diaporthe species associated with pear shoot canker in China. Persoonia 45: 135-162.
Hawthorne, B. T., Otto, C., 2012. Pathogenicity of fungi associated with leaf spots of kiwifruit. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 29: 533-538.
Hawthorne, B. T., Reesgeorge, J., Samuels, G. J., 1982. Fungi associated with leaf spots and post-harvest fruit rots of kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 20: 143-150.
Hibbett, D. S., Taylor, J. W., 2013. Fungal systematics: is a new age of enlightenment at hand? Nature Reviews Microbiology 11: 129-133.
Hoang, D. T., Chernomor, O., Haeseler, A. V., Minh, B. Q., Vinh, L. S., 2017. UFBoot2: Improving the Ultrafast Bootstrap Approximation. Molecular Biology and Evolution 35: 518-522.
Huang, F., Hou, X., Dewdney, M. M., Fu, Y. S., Chen, G. Q., … Li, H., 2013. Diaporthe species occurring on citrus in China. Fungal Diversity 61: 237-250.
Huang, F., Udayanga, D., Wang, X., Hou, X., Mei, X., … Li, H., 2015. Endophytic Diaporthe associated with Citrus: A phylogenetic reassessment with seven new species from China. Fungal Biology 119: 331-347.
Huang, H. W., 2009. History of 100 years of domestication and improvement of kiwifruit and gene discovery from genetic introgressed populations in the wild. Chinese Bulletin of Botany 44: 127-142.
Jeong, I. H., lim, M. T., Kim, G. H., Han, T. W., Kim, H. C., Kim, M. J., … Koh, Y. J., 2008. Incidences of leaf spots and blights on kiwifruit in Korea. The Plant Pathology Journal 24: 125-130.
Katoh, K., Standley, D. M., 2013. MAFFT multiple sequence alignment software version 7: improvements in performance and usability. Molecular Biology and Evolution 30: 772-780.
Koh, Y. J., Hur, J. S., Jung, J. S., 2005. Postharvest fruit rots of kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) in Korea. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science 33: 303-310,.
Kumar, S., Stecher, G., Tamura, K., 2016. MEGA7: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis Version 7.0 for Bigger Datasets. Molecular Biology and Evolution 33: 1870-1874.
Lee, J. G., Lee, D. H., Park, S. Y., Hur, J. S., Koh, Y. J., 2001. First Report of Diaporthe actinidiae, the Causal Organism of Stem-End Rot of Kiwifruit in Korea. Plant Pathology journal 17: 110-113.
Li, H., Yu, S., Tang, W., Miao, M., Liu, Y., 2019. First Report of Diaporthe passiflorae and Diaporthe nobilis Causing a Postharvest Kiwifruit Rot in Sichuan Province, China. Plant Disease 103: 771-771.
Li, L., Pan, H., Chen, M., Zhang, S., Zhong, C., 2017a. Isolation and identification of pathogenic fungi causing postharvest fruit rot of kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) in China. Journal of Phytopathology 165: 782-790.
Li, L., Pan, H., Chen, M., Zhong, C., 2016. First Report of Diaporthe lithocarpus Causing Postharvest Rot of Kiwifruit in Sichuan Province, China. Plant Disease 100: 2327.
Li, L., Pan, H., Liu, W., Chen, M. Y., Zhong, C. H., 2017b. First Report of Diaporthe actinidiae Causing Stem-End Rot of Kiwifruit During Post-Harvest in China. Plant Disease 101: 1054.
Luongo, L., Santori, A., Riccioni, L., Belisario, A., 2011. Phomopsis sp. associated with post-harvest fruit rot f kiwifruit in Italy. Journal of Plant Pathology 93: 205-209.
Minh, B. Q., Schmidt, H. A., Chernomor, O., Schrempf, D., Woodhams, M. D., … Lanfear, R., 2020. IQ-TREE 2: New Models and Efficient Methods for Phylogenetic Inference in the Genomic Era. Molecular Biology and Evolution 37: 1530-1534.
Mostert, L., Crous, P. W., Kang, J., Phillips, A. J. L., 2001. Species of Phomopsis and a Libertella sp. occurring on grapevines with specific reference to South Africa: morphological, cultural, molecular and pathological characterization. Mycologia 93: 146-167.
Mousakhah, M., Jamali, A., Khodaparast, S. A., Olia, M., 2014. Incidence of Leaf Spots, Blights and Fruit Rots of Kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) in Guilan Province. Iranian Journal Plant Pathology 50: 173-181.
Nguyen, L. T., Schmidt, H. A., Haeseler, A., Minh, B. Q., 2015. IQ-TREE: a fast and effective stochastic algorithm for estimating maximum-likelihood phylogenies. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32: 268-274.
Pennycook, S. R., 1985. Fungal fruit rots of Actinidia deliciosa (kiwifruit). New Zealand Journal of Experimental Agriculture 13: 289-299.
Rambaut A., 2014. FigTree, v. 1.4.2. Institute of evolutionary biology. University of Edinburgh. http://tree.bio.ed.ac.uk/software/figtree/.
Rehner, S. A., Uecker, F. A., 1994. Nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer phylogeny and host diversity in the coelomycete Phomopsis. Botany 72: 1666-1674.
Santos, J. M., Phillips, A. J., 2009. Resolving the complex of Diaporthe (Phomopsis) species occurring on Foeniculum vulgare in Portugal. Fungal Diversity 34: 111-125.
Santos, J. M., Vrandecic, K., Cosic, J., Duvnjak, T., Phillips, A. J., 2011. Resolving the Diaporthe species occurring on soybean in Croatia. Persoonia 27: 9-19.
Sessa, L., Abreo, E., Bettucci, L., Lupo, S., 2017. Diversity and virulence of Diaporthe species associated with wood. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 56: 431-444.
Sommer, N. F., Beraha, L., 1975. Diaporthe Actinidiae, A New Species Causing Stem-End Rot of Chinese Gooseberry Fruits. Mycologia 67: 650-653.
Thomidis, T., Prodromou, I., Zambounis, A., 2019. Occurrence of Diaporthe ambigua Nitschke causing postharvest fruit rot on kiwifruit in Chrysoupoli Kavala, Greece. Journal of Plant Pathology 101: 1295-1296.
Thompson, S. M., Tan, Y. P., Shivas, R. G., Neate, S. M., Morin, L., … Aitken, E. A. B., 2015. Green and brown bridges between weeds and crops reveal novel Diaporthe species in Australia. Persoonia 35: 39-49.
Thompson, S. M., Tan, Y. P., Young, A. J., Neate, S. M., Aitken, E. A. B., Shivas, R. G., 2011. Stem cankers on sunflower (Helianthus annuus) in Australia reveal a complex of pathogenic Diaporthe (Phomopsis) species. Persoonia 27: 80-89.
Udayanga, D., Castlebury, L. A., Rossman, A. Y., Chukeatirote, E., Hyde, K. D., 2014a. Insights into the genus Diaporthe: phylogenetic species delimitation in the D. eres species complex. Fungal Diversity 67: 203-229.
Udayanga, D., Castlebury, L. A., Rossman, A. Y., Hyde, K. D., 2014b. Species limits in Diaporthe: molecular re-assessment of D. citri, D. cytosporella, D. foeniculina and D. rudis. Persoonia 32: 83-101.
Udayanga, D., Liu, X. Z., Crous, P. W., McKenzie, E. H. C., Chukeatirote, E., Hyde, K. D., 2012. A multi-locus phylogenetic evaluation of Diaporthe (Phomopsis). Fungal Diversity 56: 157-171.
White, T. J., Bruns, T., Lee, S., Taylor, J., 1990. Amplification and direct sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA genes for phylogenetics. Academic Press, San Dieg 18: 315-322.
Yang, Q., Du, Z., Tian, C. M., 2018a. Phylogeny and morphology reveal two new species of Diaporthe from Traditional Chinese Medicine in Northeast China. Phytotaxa 336: 159-170.
Yang, Q., Fan, X. L., Guarnaccia, V., Tian, C. M., 2018b. High diversity of Diaporthe species associated with dieback diseases in China, with twelve new species described. MycoKeys 39: 97-149.
Zhai, L., Zhang, M., Lv, G., Chen, X., Jia, N., … Wang, G. P., 2014. Biological and Molecular Characterization of Four Botryosphaeria Species Isolated from Pear Plants Showing Stem Wart and Stem Canker in China. Plant Disease 98: 716-726.