Colletotrichum species are plant pathogens, saprobes, and endophytes on a range of economically important hosts. However, the species occurring on pear remain largely unresolved. To determine the morphology, phylogeny and biology of Colletotrichum species associated with Pyrus plants, a total of 295 samples were collected from cultivated pear species (including P. pyrifolia, P. bretschneideri, and P. communis) from seven major pearcultivation provinces in China. The pear leaves and fruits affected by anthracnose were sampled and subjected to fungus isolation, resulting in a total of 488 Colletotrichum isolates. Phylogenetic analyses based on six loci (ACT, TUB2, CAL, CHS-1, GAPDH, and ITS) coupled with morphology of 90 representative isolates revealed that they belong to 10 known Colletotrichum species, including C. aenigma, C. citricola, C. conoides, C. fioriniae, C. fructicola, C. gloeosporioides, C. karstii, C. plurivorum, C. siamense, C. wuxiense, and two novel species, described here as C. jinshuiense and C. pyrifoliae. Of these, C. fructicola was the most dominant, occurring on P. pyrifolia and P. bretschneideri in all surveyed provinces except in Shandong, where C. siamense was dominant. In contrast, only C. siamense and C. fioriniae were isolated from P. communis, with the former being dominant. In order to prove Koch’s postulates, pathogenicity tests on pear leaves and fruits revealed a broad diversity in pathogenicity and aggressiveness among the species and isolates, of which C. citricola, C. jinshuiense, C. pyrifoliae, and C. conoides appeared to be organ-specific on either leaves or fruits. This study also represents the first reports of C. citricola, C. conoides, C. karstii, C. plurivorum, C. siamense, and C. wuxiense causing anthracnose on pear.
National Museum of Natural History, Netherlands
Article / Letter to the editor