Background and aims – Polystigma rubrum forms orange-red stromata on the surface of living leaves of Prunus spinosa and P. domestica. Records suggests that this fungus now has a much more limited distribution in Britain than recorded in the 19th and early 20th century.
Methods – We studied the local distribution of the fungus in the Burren Hills of western Ireland where it remains very common.
Key results – Assessment of the local distribution of the fungus over two years found stromata to occur more frequently on P. spinosa leaves in hedgerows than woodlands. On individual trees in areas of open limestone pavement, the frequency of stromata was ten times higher in 2016 than 2015, possibly related to interannual rainfall differences. On hedgerow trees subjected to winter flooding, stromata were much less abundant, whereas stromata were more abundant on leaves also infected by the gall mite Eriophyes prunispinosae. The identity of Po. rubrum was confirmed by ITS sequencing.
Conclusion – At a field location where Po. rubrum stromata are present in unusually high abundance, the distribution of stromata on trees in different habitats showed high levels of variation linked to both habitat and the presence of gall mites. Further work is required to determine whether variation in leaf surface and soil moisture are the key determinants of the observed distribution. Such investigations may reveal why Po. rubrum, once common in northern Europe is now restricted mainly to westerly, coastal locations.
Aylor D.E., Sutton T.B. (1992) Release of Venturia inaequalis ascospores during unsteady rain: Relationship to spore transport and deposition. Phytopathology 82: 532–540. https://doi.org/10.1094/Phyto-82-532
Banihashemi Z. (1990) Biology and control of Polystigma ochraceum, the cause of almond red leaf blotch. Plant Pathology 39: 309–315. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3059.1990.tb02508.x
Blackman V.H., Welsford E.J. (1912) The development of the perithecium of Polystigma rubrum DC. Annals of Botany 26: 761–767. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aob.a089414
Cannon P.F. (1996) Systematics and diversity of the Phyllachoraceae associated with Rosaceae, with a monograph of Polystigma. Mycological Research 100: 1409–1427. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0953-7562(96)80072-4
Chinery M. (2013) Britain’s plant galls: a photographic guide. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Dayarathne M., Maharachchikumbura S., Jones E., Goonasekara I., Bulgakov T., Al-Sadi A.M., Hyde K.D., Lumyong S., McKenzie E.H.C. (2017) Neophyllachora gen nov.(Phyllachorales), three new species of Phyllachora from Poaceae and resurrection of Polystigmataceae (Xylariales). Mycosphere 8: 1598–1625. https://doi.org/10.5943/mycosphere/8/10/2
Díaz R., Zas R., Fernández-López J. (2007) Genetic variation of Prunus avium in susceptibility to cherry leaf spot (Blumeriella jaapii) in spatially heterogeneous infected seed orchards. Annals of Forest Science 64: 21–30. https://doi.org/10.1051/forest:2006084
Douglas B. (2018) Lost and Found Fungi Datasheet: Polystigma rubrum. Available from http://fungi.myspecies.info/sites/fungi.myspecies.info/files/Polystigma%20rubrum.pdf [accessed 20 Jun. 2018].
Easterbrook M.A. (1979) The life history of the eriophyid mite Aculus schlechtendali on apple in South-east England. Annals of Applied Biology 91: 287–296. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7348.1979.tb06502.x
Evans S., Henrici A., Ing B. (2006) Red data list of threatened British fungi. Report by the British Mycological Society (BMS), working with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Available from http://www.britmycolsoc.org.uk/mycology/conservation/red-data-list/ [accessed 20 Jun. 2018].
Gadoury D.M., MacHardy W.E. (1986) Forecasting ascospore dose of Venturia inaequalis in commercial apple orchards. Phytopathology 76: 112–118. https://doi.org/10.1094/Phyto-76-112
Ghazanfari J., Banihashemi Z. (1976) Factors influencing ascocarp formation in Polystigma ochraceum. Transactions of the British Mycological Society 66: 401–406. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0007-1536(76)80208-2
Gispert C., Oldfield G.N., Perring T.M., Creamer R. (1998) Biology of the transmission of peach mosaic virus by Eriophyes insidiosus (Acari: Eriophyidae). Plant Disease 82: 1371–1374. https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS.19220.127.116.111
Grove W.B. (1884) Memoirs: some account of Polystigma rubrum Pers. based upon the recent investigations of Dr. AB Frank and C. Fisch. Journal of Cell Science 2: 328–334.
Habibi A., Banihashemi Z., Mostowfizadeh-Ghalamfarsa R. (2015) Phylogenetic analysis of Polystigma and its relationship to Phyllachorales. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 54: 45–54. https://doi.org/10.14601/Phytopathol_Mediterr-14738
Habibi A., Banihashemi Z. (2016) Mating system and role of pycnidiospores in biology of Polystigma amygdalinum, the causal agent of almond red leaf blotch. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 55: 98–108. https://doi.org/10.14601/Phytopathol_Mediterr-16498
Kranz J. (1962) Plant diseases in Cyrenaica. FAO Plant Protection Bulletin 10: 121–125.
Mardones M., Trampe-Jaschik T., Oster S., Elliott M., Urbina H., Schmitt I., Piepenbring M. (2017) Phylogeny of the order Phyllachorales (Ascomycota, Sordariomycetes): among and within order relationships based on five molecular loci. Persoonia 39: 74–90. https://doi.org/10.3767/persoonia.2017.39.04
Mitre jr I., Tripon A., Mitre I., Mitre V. (2015) The response of several plum cultivars to natural infection with Monilinia laxa, Polystigma rubrum and Stigmina carpophila. Notulae Scientia Biologicae 7: 136.
Mylona S. (1996) Sulphur dioxide emissions in Europe 1880–1991 and their effect on sulphur concentrations and depositions. Tellus B 48: 662–689. https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0889.1996.t01-2-00005.x
O’Connor J.P. (2004) A review of the Irish gall-wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) with notes on the gall-midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) and gall-mites (Acarina: Eriophyoidea). The Irish Naturalists’ Journal 27: 335–343.
Ripka G. (2007) Checklist of the eriophyoid mite fauna of Hungary (Acari: Prostigmata: Eriophyoidea). Acta Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica 42: 59–142. https://doi.org/10.1556/APhyt.42.2007.1.7
Roon D.A., Wipfli M.S., Wurtz T.L. (2014) Effects of invasive European bird cherry (Prunus padus) on leaf litter processing by aquatic invertebrate shredder communities in urban Alaskan streams. Hydrobiologia 736: 17–30. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-014-1881-x
Suzuki Y., Tanaka K., Hatakeyama S., Harada Y. (2008) Polystigma fulvum, a red leaf blotch pathogen on leaves of Prunus spp., has the Polystigmina pallescens anamorph/andromorph. Mycoscience 49: 395–398. https://doi.org/10.1007/S10267-008-0434-4
For material published before 1 January 2019, all rights are reserved. Copyright holders are Meise Botanic Garden and the Royal Botanical Society of Belgium. Permission to use this material must always be obtained from the Editor in chief, via the Editorial Office.
For further information on access, permissions and re-use of papers published in Plant Ecology and Evolution, please read our Open Access policy.