Emerging Pest Alert

Brown fruit rot (Monilia polystroma) occurring on apples in Hungary

Scientific Name: Monilia polystroma

Describer: van Leeuwen

Common Name: Asiatic brown rot

Title: Brown fruit rot (Monilia polystroma) occurring on apples in Hungary


Significance: Previously known only from Japan, Monilia polystroma has been confirmed for the first time in Europe (Petróczy and Palkovics, 2009). Monilia polystroma causes severe fruit rot of fruit trees and is closely related to Monilinia fructigena, a species already widespread in Europe (van Leeuwen et al., 2002). The host range for both Monilia polystroma and Monilinia fructigena are similar, including species of MalusPyrusCydonia, and Prunus (van Leeuwen et al., 2002). Impacts of Monilia polystroma are likely to be similar to impacts of Monilinia fructigena, which causes severe losses of stone fruits, both before and after harvest (CABI, 2007). Crops may be severely reduced or destroyed due to the infection which occurs on flowers, mature fruit, leaves, and shoots (EPPO, 2003). Symptoms include blossom, twig and leaf blights, stem cankers, and brown fruit rots (CABI, 2007). Symptoms on infected nursery stock may not always be noticeable, increasing the risk of spread to new locations (CABI, 2007). A multiplex PCR method has been described to differentiate Monilia polystroma from other Monilinia species that may be intercepted on stone fruit at ports of entry (Côté et al., 2004), including Monilinia fructicola which is widespread in parts of North America (CABI, 2007).

Hosts: While detailed host studies have not yet been conducted for this species, major known hosts include Cydonia (quince), Malus (apple), Prunus (stone fruit), and Pyrus(pears) (CABI, 2007).


CABI. 2007. Crop Protection Compendium. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International (CABI), Wallingford, UK.

Côté, M.-J., M.-C. Tardif, and A. J. Meldrum. 2004. Identification of Monilinia fructigenaM. fructicolaM. laxa, and Monilia polystroma on Inoculated and Naturally Infected Fruit Using Multiplex PCR. Plant Disease 88:1219-1225.

EPPO. 2003. Diagnostic protocols for regulated pests: Monilinia fructicola (PM 7/18(1)). European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO). EPPO Bulletin, 245-247.

Petróczy, M., and L. Palkovics. 2009. First report of Monilia polystroma on apple in Hungary. European Journal of Plant Pathology.

van Leeuwen, G. C. M., R. P. Baayen, I. J. Holb, and M. J. Jeger. 2002. Distinction of the Asiatic brown rot fungus Monilia polystroma sp. nov. from M. fructigena. Mycological Research 106(4):444-451.