Magnolia grandiflora is a widely cultivated ornamental tree in China. In June 2020, a leaf blight disease was observed on M. grandiflora in Guizhou University (26° 44' 57'' N, 106° 65' 94'' E) in Guiyang, China. The initial symptoms on leaves were expanding round necrotic lesions with a grey center and dark brown edge, and twigs were withered when the disease was serious. Of the 100 plants surveyed 65% had symptoms. To isolate the potential causal pathogen, diseased leaves were collected from an M. grandiflora tree at Guizhou University. Isolations from made form the junction between healthy and symptomatic tissue and disinfested by immersing in 75% ethanol for 30 seconds, 3% NaOCl for 2 minutes, and then washed 3 times in sterile distilled water. Symptomatic tissue was then plated on potato dextrose agar (PDA) and incubated at 25ºC with 12-hour light for 3–5 days. Three isolates (GUCC 21235.1, GUCC 21235.2 and GUCC 21235.3) were obtained. Colonies on PDA after 7 d were dark brown, pycnidia embedded in the mydelium were dark brown to black, single and separated. Conidiophores were transparent measuring 7–12.5 × 2.5–4.5 µm (mean = 9.5 × 3.6 µm, n = 30) in length. Conidia were transparent becoming brown when mature with a diaphragm, with round ends measuring, 21–27 × 10–15 µm (mean = 23.6 × 12.6 µm, n = 30). To confirm the pathogen by molecular characterization, four genes or DNA fragments, ITS, LSU, tef1 and β-tubulin, were amplified using the following primer pairs: ITS4-F/ ITS5-R (White et al., 1990), LR0R/ LR5 (Rehner & Samuels, 1994), EF1-688F/ EF1-986R (Carbone & Kohn, 1999) and Bt2a/ Bt2b (O'Donnell & Cigelnik, 1997). The sequences of four PCR fragments of GUCC 21235.1 were deposited in GenBank, and the accession numbers were MZ519778 (ITS), MZ520367 (LSU), MZ508428 (tef1) and MZ542354 (β-tubulin). Bayesian inference was performed based on a concatenated dataset of ITS, LSU, tef1 and β-tubulin gene using MrBayes 3.2.10, and the isolates GUCC 21235.1 formed a single clade with the reference isolates of Diplodia mutila (Diplodia mutila strain CBS 112553). BLASTn analysis indicated that the sequences of ITS, LSU, tef1 and β-tubulin revealed 100% (546/546 nucleotides), 99.82% (568/569 nucleotides), 100% (302/302 nucleotides), and 100% (437/437 nucleotides) similarity with that of D. mutila in GenBank (AY259093, AY928049, AY573219 and DQ458850), respectively. For confirmation of the pathogenicity of this fungus, a conidial suspension (1×105 conidia mL-1) was prepared from GUCC 21235.1, and healthy leaves of M. grandiflora trees were surface-disinfested by 75% ethanol, rinsed with sterilized distilled water and dried by absorbent paper. Small pieces of filter paper (5 mm ×5 mm), dipped with 20 µL conidial suspension (1×105 conidia mL-1) or sterilized distilled water (as control), were placed on the bottom-left of the leaves for inoculation. Then the leaves were sprayed with sterile distilled water, wrapped with a plastic film and tin foil successively to maintain high humidity in the dark dark. After 36 h, the plastic film and tin foil on the leaves was removed, and the leaves were sprayed with distilled water three times each day at natural condition (average temperature was about 25 °C, 14 h light/10 h dark). After 10 days of inoculation, the same leaf blight began to appear on the leaves inoculated with conidial suspension. No lesion was appeared on the control leaves. The fungus was re-isolated from the symptomatic tissue. Based on the morphological information and molecular characterization, the isolate GUCC 21235.1 is D. mutila. Previous reports indicated that D. mutila infects a broad host range and gives rise to a canker disease of olive, apple and jujube (Úrbez-Torres et al., 2013; Úrbez-Torres et al., 2016; Feng et al., 2019). This is the first report of leaf blight on M. grandiflora caused by D. mutila in China.
The nematode family, Anguinidae, is a diverse group of polyphagous nematodes, generally known as fungal feeders or parasites of aerial plant parts. Here, we present the morphological and molecular characterization of adult females of two Nothotylenchus species, N. medians and N. similis, along with host association and geographical distribution data of the genus. Both species are recorded as new reports from Canada and designated as reference populations for future studies. Morphological or morphometrical variation was not observed in the Canadian population of N. medians and N. similis, in comparison with the original description. Phylogenetic analyses based on 18S and D2–D3 of 28S genes placed both species within Anguinidae. Since the biology of the genus Nothotylenchus has not been rigorously characterized, the habitat and distribution information presented in this study will shed some light on the ecology of these nematodes. Notably, the detection of N. medians and N. similis in our nematode inventory survey indicates that considerable Nothotylenchus diversity is hidden in these soils. Consequently, increased surveys and more in-depth research are needed to explore the full diversity of anguinids inhabiting these cultivated areas.