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Subject: Raffaelea quercivora Kubono et. Shin-Ito determined to be causal agent for massive oak death in Japan
Date posted: August 01, 2003
Source: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO)
Since 1980, over 200,000 oak trees, (Quercus acutissima (=Q. serrata) and Q. crispula)), are killed annually in the western coastal areas of Honshu, Japan. The sequence of events begins in the summer with mass attacks by Platypus quercivorus (Coleoptera: Platypodidae), closely followed by wilting and reddening of the foliage, and possible tree death. A new fungal species, Raffaelea quercivora Kubono et. Shin-Ito was isolated from discolored sapwood, necrotic inner bark, body surfaces of beetles, female beetle's mycangia and beetle galleries of diseased trees. Inoculation tests suggest that R. quercivora is the causal agent for the oak mortality and P. quercivorus is the vector.

For more on Raffaelea quercivora see: http://www.eppo.org/QUARANTINE/Alert_List/Fungi/raffaelea.html