Morphological variability of Botrytis cinerea – causal agent of Japanese quince grey mould
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Botrytis cinerea is a causal agent of grey mould that damages many species of plants including Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica (Thumb.) Lindley ex Spach). Grey mould has been found on Chaenomeles spp. flowers, fruits in all stages as well as on twigs. Morphological variability within Botrytis species has been previously reported in the literature, but no information is available about B. cinerea isolated from Chaenomeles spp. The aim of this study was to describe the symptoms of grey mould and clarify the morphological variability of B. cinerea isolates obtained from samples collected in commercial plantations of Japanese quince. Samples of plant parts with different fungal disease symptoms were collected in eight commercial plantations of Japanese quince during vegetation seasons of 2017 and 2018. Some samples were taken in Japanese quince plantations in Lithuania and Estonia. A total of 286 isolates of fungi were isolated from damaged shoots, leaves and fruits of Japanese quince plants, using potato dextrose agar. Botrytis cinerea isolates (39) were separated depending on the morphological characteristics and were proved by using methods of molecular biology. B. cinerea was isolated from shoots, leaves and fruits. The isolates of B. cinerea were described and classified into distinct morphological types depending on the characteristics of mycelia, sclerotia, reverse side of media and the presence or absence of sporulation.