Lasiodiplodia theobromae

Lasiodiplodia theobromae is a plant pathogen with a very wide host range. It causes rotting and dieback in most species it infects. It is a common post harvest fungus disease of citrus known as stem-end rot. It is a cause of bot canker of grapevine.[2] It also infects Biancaea sappan, a species of flowering tree also known as Sappanwood.

Lasiodiplodia theobromae
Lasiodiplodia theobromae sporulating in lesion on papaya
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Dothideomycetes
Order: Botryosphaeriales
Family: Botryosphaeriaceae
Genus: Lasiodiplodia
L. theobromae
Binomial name
Lasiodiplodia theobromae
(Pat.) Griffon & Maubl.

Botryodiplodia ananassae
Botryodiplodia elasticae
Botryodiplodia theobromae
Botryodiplodia tubericola
Botryosphaeria rhodina (Berk. and Curtis) Arx[1]
Chaetodiplodia grisea
Diplodia ananassae
Diplodia gossypina Cooke[1]
Diplodia theobromae
Diplodia tubericola
Lasiodiplodia nigra
Lasiodiplodia triflorae
Lasiodiplodia tubericola
Lasiodiplodiella triflorae
Macrophoma vestita

On rare occasions it has been found to cause fungal keratitis,[3] lesions on nail and subcutaneous tissue.[4][5]

It has been implicated in the widespread mortality of baobab (Adansonia digitata) trees in Southern Africa. A preliminary study found the deaths to have a complex set of causes requiring detailed research.[6]

Host and symptoms

L. theobromae causes diseases such as dieback, blights, and root rot in a variety of different hosts in tropical and subtropical regions.[7][8] These include guava, coconut, papaya, and grapevine.[8] Botryosphaeria dieback, which is formerly known as bot canker, is characterised by a range of symptoms that affect grapevine in particular. These symptoms affect different areas on the plant and can be used to diagnose this disease along with other factors. In the trunk and cordon of the plant symptoms include cankers coming out of the wounds, wedge shaped lesions when cut in cross sections and dieback. Dieback is characterized as a ‘dead arm’ and a loss of spur positions. More symptoms include stunted shoots in the spring, delay or lack of growth in the spur positions of the bud burst, bleached canes and necrotic buds. Bud necrosis, bud failure, and the dieback of arms are all a result of the necrosis of the hosts vascular system.[9]

It can also affect the fruit of durians such as Durio graveolens.[10]

Disease cycle

The fungus over-winters as pycnidia on the outside of diseased wood. The pycnidia produces and releases two-celled, dark brown, striated conidia.[11] The conidia are then dispersed by wind and rain splash, spreading the fungi to other vines, and from one part of the vine to another. Disease develops when conidia land on freshly cut or damaged wood. The conidia germinate the tissue of the wood and start causing damage to the vascular system. Cankers begin to form around the initial infection point and eventually complete damage of the vascular system causes necrosis and dieback of the wood. In some instances, pseudothecia form on the outside of cankers and produce ascospores which are then dispersed like conidia and infect surrounding wounds.[12]


There are many different procedures that can be implemented to manage dieback in a vineyard. These can either be done to prevent further infection by breaking the disease cycle or to recover plants after initial infection. Good hygiene must be practiced when removing infection sources in order to prevent further infection to the rest of the vineyard as well as to avoid cross contamination.[13] Strategies that can be used for prevention and recovery are listed in the table below:

Aim Strategy Method
Prevention Cultural Practices
  • Avoid pruning during wet weather (spores of Botryosphaeriaceae fungi are released up to 2 hours after rain)
  • Minimise number and size of pruning wounds
  • Cuts should be made at an angle to allow water to drain from the wood surfaces
  • Prune early in the season when spore production is low or late in the season when wounds are less susceptible and heal more rapidly
Chemical Practices

Protection of pruning wounds is the most efficient and cost effective way to prevent grapevine trunk diseases.

  • Pruning wound protection: apply fungicides, paints, pastes or biological control agents directly onto large cuts as soon as possible after pruning
  • Vinevax™ (biological control agent) and Greenseal™ are the only two products registered in Australia for pruning wound protection (both products are registered for the control of eutypa dieback)
Management Removal of Infected Wood
  • Remove dead wood of cordons and 10 cm of healthy tissue
  • Extensively rework infected crown or trunk
  • Remove all infected wood from the vineyard
  • Retrain new cordons
  • Replace trunk with water shoots


  1. "Lasiodiplodia theobromae". NCBI taxonomy. Bethesda, MD: National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved 1 December 2017. Lineage( full ) cellular organisms; Eukaryota; Opisthokonta; Fungi; Dikarya; Ascomycota; saccharomyceta; Pezizomycotina; leotiomyceta; dothideomyceta; Dothideomycetes; Dothideomycetes incertae sedis; Botryosphaeriales; Botryosphaeriaceae; Lasiodiplodia
  2. Identification and Pathogenicity of Lasiodiplodia theobromae and Diplodia seriata, the Causal Agents of Bot Canker Disease of Grapevines in Mexico. J. R. Úrbez-Torres, G. M. Leavitt, J. C. Guerrero, J. Guevara and W. D. Gubler, Plant Disease, April 2008, Volume 92, Number 4, pages 519-529, doi:10.1094/PDIS-92-4-0519
  3. "Mycology Online - Lasiodiplodia theobromae". Archived from the original on 2008-10-07.
  4. Summerbell, RC; Krajden, S; Levine, R; Fuksa, M (2004). "Subcutaneous phaeohyphomycosis caused by Lasiodiplodia theobromae and successfully treated surgically". Med Mycol. 42 (6): 543–7. doi:10.1080/13693780400005916. PMID 15682643.
  5. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2014-09-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. P. Sreerama Kumar,, Leena Singh (December 2009). "Lasiodiplodia theobromae is a Mycoparasite of a Powdery Mildew Pathogen". Mycobiology. 37 (4): 308–9. doi:10.4489/MYCO.2009.37.4.308. PMC 3749424. PMID 23983554.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  7. Juan M. Tovar Pedraza,, José A. Mora Aguilera. "CONTROL OF Lasiodiplodia theobromae, THE CAUSAL AGENT OF DIEBACK OF SAPOTE MAMEY [Pouteria sapota (Jacq.) H. E. Moore and Stearn] GRAFTS IN MÉXICO" (PDF).CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  8. E. Rodríguez-Gálvez,, E. MaldonadoA. Alves (October 2014). "Identification and pathogenicity of Lasiodiplodia theobromae causing dieback of table grapes in Peru". European Journal of Plant Pathology. 141 (3): 477–489. doi:10.1007/s10658-014-0557-8.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  9. Sivapalan, A.; Metussin, Rosidah; Harndan, Fuziah; Zain, Rokiah Mohd (December 1998). "Fungi associated with postharvest fruit rots of Durio graveolens and D. kutejensis in Brunei Darussalam". Australasian Plant Pathology. 27 (4): 274–277. doi:10.1071/AP98033. ISSN 1448-6032. OCLC 204773204.
  10. Ellis, David. "Lasiodiplodia theobromae".
  11. Wayne Pitt,, Sandra Savocchia (August 2012). "Botryosphaeria Dieback: Identification and Management" (PDF). maint: extra punctuation (link)

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