Genotypic and phenotypic diversity in Colletotrichum
acutatum, a cosmopolitan pathogen causing anthracnose on a wide range of hosts
S. SREENIVASAPRASAD1 and PEDRO TALHINHAS2
1 Warwick HRI, University of Warwick, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire
CV35 9EF, UK
2 Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa,
Colletotrichum acutatum causes anthracnose on a wide range of
hosts including woody and herbaceous crops, ornamentals, fruits and
conifers. Almond, citrus, lupin, olive and strawberry are some of the
crops in which C. acutatum diseases are economically important.
With the application of molecular markers and diagnostic PCR over the last
10-15 years, which show some degree of correlation with the morphological
characteristics and varying patterns of host association and geographical
distribution. The pathogen has complex epidemiology, exhibiting pathogenic
and non-pathogenic lifestyles on target hosts, non-target crops and weeds.
C. acutatum populations also show pathogenic variability and
cross-infection potential in relation to a number of hosts. Molecular
genetic tools are being developed to investigate the pathogenicity
mechanisms of this key pathogen. This article mainly focuses on the global
population diversity in C. acutatum, pathogen epidemiology and
diagnosis, host colonization processes, and the development of tools for
the identification and analysis of genes associated with pathogenicity.
Background information on the pathogen origin, host range, disease
symptoms and disease management strategies is also provided.