Botryosphaeria dothidea: a latent pathogen of global importance to woody plant health

Angelica Marsberg, Martin Kemler, Fahimeh Jami, Jan H. Nagel, Alisa Postma-Smidt, Sanushka Naidoo, Michael J. Wingfield, Pedro W. Crous, Joseph W. Spatafora, Cedar N. Hesse, Barbara Robbertse, Bernard Slippers

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

209 Citations (Scopus)


Botryosphaeria dothidea is the type species of Botryosphaeria (Botryosphaeriaceae, Botryosphaeriales). Fungi residing in this order are amongst the most widespread and important canker and dieback pathogens of trees worldwide, with B. dothidea one of the most common species on a large number of hosts. Its taxonomic circumscription has undergone substantial change in the past decade, making it difficult to interpret the large volume of literature linked to the name B. dothidea. This pathogen profile synthesizes the current understanding of B. dothidea pertaining to its distribution, host associations and role as a pathogen in managed and natural woody environments. The prolonged latent infection or endophytic phase is of particular importance, as it implies that the fungus can easily pass undetected by quarantine systems in traded living plants, fruits and other plant parts. Infections typically become obvious only under conditions of host stress, when disease symptoms develop. This study also considers the knowledge emerging from the recently sequenced B. dothidea genome, elucidating previously unknown aspects of the species, including mating and host infection strategies. Despite more than 150 years of research on B. dothidea, there is clearly much to be learned regarding this global tree pathogen. This is increasingly important given the stresses imposed on various woody hosts as a result of climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-488
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • Botryosphaeria dothidea
  • climate change
  • endophyte
  • global pathogen
  • latent pathogen
  • quarantine


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