The State Plant Protection Service (SPPS) of Latvia informs on the first finding of Mycosphaerella dearnessii M.E.Barr (synonym Scirrhia acicola (Dearn.) Siggers, anamorf Lecanosticta acicola (Thumen) H.Sydow) in Latvia (in Salaspils), in 2012.
The sample was taken from the single Pinus pumila tree during annual survey carried out by the inspector of SPPS on 27 June 2012 in Salaspils. The tree showed slight symptoms of needle blight. The testing was carried out by the National Phytosanitary Laboratory of Latvia; the morphological characteristics of the causal organism corresponded to Lecanosticta acicola, the anamorph of Mycosphaerella dearnessii.
The identity of the species Mycosphaerella dearnessii was confirmed by PCR-based methods in the ANSES Plant Health Laboratory, France. The final Test Report was received on 7 August 2012. The phytosanitary measures are applied in order to eradicate the disease. Additional phytosanitary measures are under development. Futher investigations to detect the source of infestation are carried out.