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Pomegranate dieback and fruit rot caused by Coniella granati recorded in Croatia

2023, 24 (3)   p. 689-695

Adrijana Novak, Željko Tomić, Ivana Križanac, Krešimir Šimunac, Luka Popović, Pero Arnaut, Dario Ivić


Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a native shrub and a fruit crop cultivated in regions with warmer climate. In Croatia, pomegranates are grown all along the coast, but with only a few commercial plantations. In 2022, yellowing of leaves, twig blight, tree dieback and fruit rot were observed on cultivars Hicaz and Wonderful in several pomegranate orchards in Neretva Valley. The symptoms resembled those described to be caused by the fungus Coniella granati, a potentially serious pathogen of pomegranate. Samples of twigs, fruits and trunk base fragments were collected from three locations: Metković, Opuzen and Buk Vlaka. The same fungus was regularly isolated from all symptomatic plant parts. Based on cultural, morphological and molecular analyses, the fungus was identified as Coniella granati. Pathogenicity test on pomegranate fruits cv. Wonderful reproduced the same symptoms of fruit rot as seen in the field. To our knowledge, this is the first record of Coniella granati on pomegranate in Croatia.


Punica granatum, identification, crown rot, twig blight

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