Fusarium euwallaceae sp. nov.--a symbiotic fungus of Euwallacea sp., an invasive ambrosia beetle in Israel and California.

S Freeman, Michal Sharon, M Maymon, Z Mendel, A Protasov, T Aoki, A Eskalen, K O'Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The invasive Asian ambrosia beetle Euwallacea sp. (Coleoptera, Scolytinae, Xyleborini) and a novel Fusarium sp. that it farms in its galleries as a source of nutrition causes serious damage to more than 20 species of live trees and pose a serious threat to avocado production (Persea americana) in Israel and California. Adult female beetles are equipped with mandibular mycangia in which its fungal symbiont is transported within and from the natal galleries. Damage caused to the xylem is associated with disease symptoms that include sugar or gum exudates, dieback, wilt and ultimately host tree mortality. In 2012 the beetle was recorded on more than 200 and 20 different urban landscape species in southern California and Israel respectively. Euwallacea sp. and its symbiont are closely related to the tea shot-hole borer (E. fornicatus) and its obligate symbiont, F. ambrosium occurring in Sri Lanka and India. To distinguish these beetles, hereafter the unnamed xyleborine in Israel and California will be referred to as Euwallacea sp. IS/CA. Both fusaria exhibit distinctive ecologies and produce clavate macroconidia, which we think might represent an adaption to the species-specific beetle partner. Both fusaria comprise a genealogically exclusive lineage within Clade 3 of the Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC) that can be differentiated with arbitrarily primed PCR. Currently these fusaria can be distinguished only phenotypically by the abundant production of blue to brownish macroconidia in the symbiont of Euwallacea sp. IS/CA and their rarity or absence in F. ambrosium. We speculate that obligate symbiosis of Euwallacea and Fusarium, might have driven ecological speciation in these mutualists. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to describe and illustrate the novel, economically destructive avocado pathogen as Fusarium euwallaceae sp. nov. S. Freeman et al.
Original languageEnglish
Article number23928415
Pages (from-to)1595-606
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2013


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