Fungalpedia – Note 131 Calonectria


Calonectria De Not.

Citation when using this entry: Aumentado et al. in prep – Fungalpedia, plant pathogens. Mycosphere. 

Index FungorumFacesoffungiMycoBankGenBank, Fig *.

Ascomycota, Pezizomycotina, Sordariomycetes, Hypocreomycetidae, Hypocreales, Nectriaceae 

Calonectria was identified based on C. daldiniana (De notaris 1867). Species within this genus were previously known as Cylindrocladium for many years. However, Rossman et al. (2013) favored the use of the name Calonectria over Cylindrocladium, following its conservation by Hawksworth (2011) and  McNeill et al. (2012). Most isolates were distinguished using morphological characteristics, such as macroconidial dimensions, septation, and vesicle shape, which are the mainly reliable traits for identifying Calonectria species (Li et al. 2017Crous 2002Schoch et al. 2000). For sexual morph identification, perithecial color, ascospore number, septation, and dimensions were also considered important (Lombard et al. 2010). However, due to the morphological similarity of perithecia, they were not found to be helpful in the identification process (Crous 2002Crous & Wingfield 1994). The sexual morphs of Calonectria are characterized by their ascomata, which range in color from yellow to dark red and have scaly to warty walls. Additionally, they feature clavate asci with 4–8 spores. Asexual morphs of this genera display branched conidiophores, cylindrical and septate conidia, and stipe extensions with terminal vesicles. (Li et al. 2017, Lombard et al. 20102016Crous 2002).

Initial molecular studies used only the ITS gene to differentiate Cylindrocladium species but this contains limited useful characters (Crous et al. 1999, Schoch et al. 2001Lombard et al. 2010). A more comprehensive phylogeny of the genera can be resolved by utilizing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and 28S ribosomal RNA gene (LSU) for genus level; and employing combined β-tubulin (β-tub), translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef1-α), calmodulin (cmdA), and histone-3 (his3) for species level (Jayawardena et al. 2019Lombard et al. 2016Crous et al. 2002). There are 433 species epithets in Index Fungorum (2023) under this genus. However, 314 species are currently accepted with molecular data (Pham et al. 2022Sanchez-Gonzalez et al. 2022Zhang et al. 2022, Liu et al. 20202022Mohali et al. 2021, Crous et al. 2021a2021bJayawardena et al. 2019).

Calonectria species are necrotrophic pathogens (Lombard et al. 2010) known to infect a broad range of plant species (Li et al. 2017Chen et al. 2011Lechat et al. 2010Lombard et al. 2010Crous 2002). They are primarily soil-borne pathogens of forestry, agricultural, and horticultural crops, affecting >100 plant families (Lopes et al. 2018Li et al. 2017Gehesquiére et al. 2016Chen et al. 2011Lombard et al. 2010Crous 2002Crous et al. 1991). Although they can cause fruit rot, they are more commonly associated with leaf spot and root rot (Lopes et al. 2018). Leaf spots caused by C. colhounii, C. ilicola, C. indusiata, and C. pteridis manifest as water-soaked lesions becoming tan to dark brown, appearing circular or uneven in shape, and encircled by a red, dark brown, or purple border with a chlorotic zone (Lombard et al. 20102011). Root rot caused by C. crotalariae and C. ilicola primarily shows root necrosis, blackening, and splitting of the root cortex in conifers and blackening with longitudinal cracking in hardwoods. The lesions may merge, destroying the root. Furthermore, the crown infection can occur as root infection spreads, leading to stunting, foliage discoloration, defoliation, and eventually plant death (Lombard et al. 20102011). Pathogenicity of Calonectria species (C. metrosideri, C. tunisiana, and C. foliicola) has been confirmed on Eucalyptus spp. (Lombard et al. 2016Crous et al. 2019Soares et al. 2019Aiello et al. 2020Liu et al. 2022), Serenoa repens with C. pteridis (Yang et al. 2014), and Hevea brasiliensis with C. foliicola (Thaochan et al. 2022). Calonectria ilicicola is pathogenic to Carica papaya and is extremely pathogenic to Acacia sp., Arachis sp., and various Eucalyptus spp., exhibiting its lack of host specificity (Nishijima & Aragaki 1973). Also, C. ilicicola causes root rot in Persea americana, resulting in decreased root biomass and a gradual reduction in plant height (Dann et al. 2012). Calonectria  pseudonaviculata incites blight to Buxus spp. where it caused substantial losses in nurseries (Ivors et al 2012) and revealed the susceptibility of other plant species within Buxaceae viz., Sarcococca spp. (Henricot et al. 2008), Pachysandra procumbens, and P. terminalis (LaMondia et al. 20122013).

Type species: Calonectria pyrochroa (Desm.) Sacc.

For other species: Species Fungorum, search Calonectria for names 



Aiello D, Fiorenza A, Gusella G, Polizzi G. 2020 – First report of Calonectria tunisiana causing 

crown and root rot on Eucalyptus globulus. Journal of Plant Pathology 102, 1353.

Chen SF, Lombard L, Roux J et al. 2011 – Novel species of Calonectria associated with 

Eucalyptus leaf blight in Southeast China. Persoonia 26, 1–12.

Crous PW, Phillips AJL, Wingfield MJ. 1991 – The genera Cylindrocladium and 

Cylindrocladiella in South Africa, with special reference to forest nurseries. South Afri For J 157, 69–85.

Crous PW, Wingfield MJ. 1994 – A monograph of Cylindrocladium, including anamorphs of 

Calonectria. Mycotaxon 51, 341–435.

Crous PW, Phillips AJL, Wingfield MJ. 1991 – The genera Cylindrocladium and 

Cylindrocladiella in South Africa, with special reference to forest nurseries. South Afri For J 157, 69–85.

Crous PW. 2002 – Taxonomy and pathology of Cylindrocladium (Calonectria) and allied genera. 

American Phytopathological Society Press, St Paul, MN.

Crous PW, Wingfield MJ, Cheewangkoon R, Carnegie AJ et al. 2019 – Foliar pathogens of 

eucalypts. Studies in Mycology 94, 125–298.

Crous PW, Hernández-Restrepo M, Schumacher RK, Cowan DA et al. 2021a – New and 

interesting fungi. 4. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 7, 255.

Crous PW, Cowan DA, Maggs-Kölling G, Yilmaz N, Thangavel R et al. 2021b – Fungal Planet 

description sheets: 1182–1283. Persoonia: Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi 46, 313.

Dann EK, Cooke AW, Forsberg LI, Pegg KG et al. – Pathogenicity studies in avocado with three 

nectriaceous fungi, Calonectria ilicicolaGliocladiopsis sp. and Ilyonectria liriodendri. Plant Pathology 61(5), 896–902.

De Notaris GE. 1867 – Nouve reclute per la Pirenomicetologia Italica. Commentario dello 

Societá Crittogamological Italiana 2, 477–492.

Gehesquie´re B, Crouch JA, Marra RE, Van Poucke K, Rys F, et al. 2016 – Characterization and 

taxonomic reassessment of the box blight pathogen Calonectria pseudonaviculata, introducing Calonectria henricotiae sp. nov. Plant Pathol 65, 37–52.

Hawksworth DL. 2011 – A new dawn for the naming of fungi: impacts of decisions made in 

Melbourne in July 2011 on the future publication and regulation of fungal names. IMA Fungus 2, 155–162.

Henricot B, Gorton C, Denton G, Denton J. 2008 – Studies on the control of Cylindrocladium 

buxicola using fungicides and host resistance. Plant Disease (9), 1273–1279.

Ivors KL, Lacey LW, Milks DC, Douglas SM et al. 2012 – First report of boxwood blight caused 

by Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum in the United States. Plant Disease 96(7), 1070.

LaMondia JA, Li DW, Marra RE, Douglas SM. 2012 – First report of Cylindrocladium 

pseudonaviculatum causing leaf spot of Pachysandra terminalis. Plant Disease 96(7), 1069.

LaMondia JA, Li DW. 2013 – First report of Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum causing leaf 

spot and stem blight of Pachysandra procumbens. Plant Health Progress. 

Lechat C, Crous PW, Groenewald JZ. 2010 – The enigma of Calonectria species occurring on 

leaves of Ilex aquifolium in Europe. IMA Fungus 1, 101–108.

Li J, Wingfield MJ, Liu Q, Barnes I, Roux J et al. 2017 – Calonectria species isolated from 

Eucalyptus plantations and nurseries in South China. IMA Fungus 8, 259–294.

Liu Q, Wingfield MJ, Duong TA, Wingfield BD, Chen S. 2022 – Diversity and distribution of 

Calonectria species from plantation and forest soils in Fujian Province, China. Journal of Fungi 8(8), 811.

Liu QL, Li J, Wingfield MJ, Duong TA, Wingfield BD et al. 2020 – Reconsideration of species 

boundaries and proposed DNA barcodes for Calonectria. Studies in Mycology 97(1), 100106.

Liu L, Chen S. 2022 – Pathogenicity of six Calonectria species isolated from five soil layers in a 

Eucalyptus plantation. Journal of Phytopathology 170(7-8), 445–452.

Lombard L, Polizzi G, Guarnaccia V et al. 2011 – Calonectria spp. causing leaf spot, crown and 

root rot of ornamental plants in Tunisia. Persoonia 27, 73–79.

Lombard L, Zhou XD, Crous PW et al. 2010 – Calonectria species associated with cutting rot of 

Eucalyptus. Persoonia 24, 1–11.

Lombard L, Wingfield MJ, Alfenas AC, Crous PW. 2016 – The forgotten Calonectria collection: 

Pouring old wine into new bags. Studies in Mycology 85(1), 159–98.

Lopes UP, Alfenas RF, Zambolim L, Crous PW, Costa H et al. 2018 – New species of 

Calonectria causing rot on ripe strawberry fruit in Brazil. Australas Plant Pathol 47, 1-11.

Jayawardena RS, Hyde KD, Jeewon R, Ghobad-Nejhad M, Wanasinghe DN et al. 2019 – One 

stop shop II: taxonomic update with molecular phylogeny for important phytopathogenic genera: 26–50 (2019). Fungal Diversity 94, 41–129.

McNeill J, Barrie FR, Buck WR et al. (eds) 2012 – International Code of Nomenclature for 

algae, fungi, and plants (Melbourne Code) adopted by the Eighteenth International Botanical Congress Melbourne, Australia, July 2011. [Regnum Vegetabile no. 154.] A.R.G. Gantner Verlag, Ruggell.

Mohali SR, Stewart JE. 2021 – Calonectria vigiensis sp. nov.(Hypocreales, Nectriaceae

associated with dieback and sudden-death symptoms of Theobroma cacao from Mérida state, Venezuela. Botany 99(11), 683–93.

Nishijima WT, Aragaki M. 1973 – Pathogenicity and further characterization of Calonectria 

crotalariae causing collar rot of papaya. Phytopathology 63, 553–8.

Pham NQ, Marincowitz S, Chen S, Yaparudin Y, Wingfield MJ. 2022 – Calonectria species, 

including four novel taxa, associated with Eucalyptus in Malaysia. Mycological Progress 21(1), 181–97.

Rossman AY, Seifert KA, Samuels GJ, Minnis AM, Schroers HJ et al. 2013 – Genera of 

Bionectriaceae, Hypocreaceae and Nectriaceae (Hypocreales) proposed for acceptance and rejection. IMA Fungus 4, 41–51.

Sanchez-Gonzalez EI, Soares TD, Zarpelon TG, Zauza EA, Mafia RG et al.  2022 – Two new 

species of Calonectria (Hypocreales, Nectriaceae) causing Eucalyptus leaf blight in Brazil. MycoKeys 91, 169.

Schoch CL, Crous PW, Wingfield MJ, Wingfield BD. 2000 – Phylogeny of Calonectria and 

selected hypocrealean genera with cylindrical microconidia. Stud Mycol 45, 45–62.

Schoch CL, Crous PW, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ. 2001 – Phylogeny of Calonectria based on 

comparisons of ß-tubulin DNA sequences. Mycol Res 105, 1045–1052.

Soares ID, Auer CG, Dos Santos AF, da Silva RA et al. 2019 – First report of Calonectria leaf 

blight caused by Calonectria metrosideri on Eucalyptus benthamii in Brazil. Plant Disease 103(9), 2477.

Thaochan N, Pornsuriya C, Chairin T, Chomnunti P et al. 2022 – Morphological and molecular 

characterization of Calonectria foliicola associated with leaf blight on rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) in Thailand. Journal of Fungi 8(10), 986.

Yang W, Zheng L, Wang C, Xie CP. The first report of Calonectria pteridis causing a leaf spot disease on Serenoa repens in China. Plant disease 98(6), 854.

Zhang Y, Chen C, Chen C, Chen J, Xiang M et al. 2022 – Identification and characterization of 

Calonectria species associated with plant diseases in Southern China. Journal of Fungi 8(7), 719.


Entry by

Herbert Dustin R. Aumentado, Center of Excellence in Fungal Research and School of Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, Thailand 


Edited by Ruvishika S. Jayawardena & Kevin D. Hyde