iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Brown rot on nuts of Castanea sativa Mill: an emerging disease and its causal agent

G Maresi (1)   , CM Oliveira Longa (2), T Turchetti (3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 6, Issue 5, Pages 294-301 (2013)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0952-006
Published: Jul 16, 2013 - Copyright © 2013 SISEF

Research Articles

The quality and quantity of nut production are fundamental to the economic viability of chestnut cultivation, yet recent reports indicate that severe damage due to moulds represents a significant problem for growers. We carried out an investigation of the agents of chestnut rot and internal fruit damage in three orchards in Italy. Black and brown rot, as well as insect damage, were found in all the areas examined. Brown rot appeared to be the main cause of damage, affecting 8% to 49% and 2% to 24% of nuts collected from the ground and from burrs, respectively. With respect to morphology and DNA sequencing analyses, fungal isolates obtained from brown rot were homologous with Gnomoniopsis sp. obtained from Dryocosmus kuriphilus (Yasumatsu) galls and with Gnomoniopsis castanea and Gnomoniopsis smithogilvyi described on chestnut in Italy and Australia, respectively. The same fungus was also isolated from the bark of one- and two-years-old healthy shoots at each site, supporting the endophytic behaviour of this rot agent. Brown rot symptoms on nuts associated with Gnomoniopsis sp. corresponded with those previously described by several authors and referred to as Phoma or Phomopsis endogena, suggesting a relationship between these fungi and Gnomoniopsis sp. It is to notice that the escalation of brown rot damage in Italy followed several periods of drought and probably the recent invasion of D. kuriphilus, both stress factors for chestnut trees.


Nut mould, Gnomoniopsis sp., endophytism

Authors’ address

G Maresi
FEM-IASMA - Centre for Technology Transfer, v. E. Mach 1, I-38010 San Michele all’Adige (TN - Italy)
CM Oliveira Longa
FEM-IASMA - Research and Innovation Centre, Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems and Bioresources Department, v. E. Mach 1, I-38010 San Michele all’Adige (TN - Italy)
T Turchetti
Institute of Plant Protection (IPP-CNR), v. Madonna del Piano 10, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI - Italy)

Corresponding author


Maresi G, Oliveira Longa CM, Turchetti T (2013). Brown rot on nuts of Castanea sativa Mill: an emerging disease and its causal agent. iForest 6: 294-301. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0952-006

Academic Editor

Alberto Santini

Paper history

Received: Jan 21, 2013
Accepted: Apr 19, 2013

First online: Jul 16, 2013
Publication Date: Oct 01, 2013
Publication Time: 2.93 months

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