Screening of pathogenic fungi involved in the cork oak decline in Northwestern Tunisia


Abstract: Recent field surveys of cork oak forests in Northwestern Tunisia encountered a
severe cork oak decline that has been accentuated during the last two years (2021 and 2022).
Pathogenic fungi are strikingly involved. The screening of the different fungi colonizing cork
oak trees revealed a wide assortment of fungal colonies that can be divided into morphotypes
according to their morphological characteristics. All morphotypes are belonging to the
Pestalotiopsis and Biscogniauxia genera. These fungal genera are well recognized as
opportunistic pathogens notably associated with cork oak decline in the Mediterranean region.

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