Dry rot of citrus: pest data sheet

Page last updated: Friday, 9 December 2016 - 2:09pm

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Dry rot (Eremothecium coryli) is an exotic pest to Western Australia. It is a serious disease of citrus that can result in yield losses due to unpalatable fruit and also cause limitations for citrus seed production.

This pest data sheet provides basic scientific information about dry rot of citrus and the damage it can cause.

Preferred scientific name

Eremothecium coryli (Peglion) Kurtzman 1995


  • Nematospora coryli Peglion 1901
  • Nematospora lycopersici A. Schneid. 1917
  • Nematospora nagpuri Dastur & Singh 1930
  • Nematospora phaseoli Wingard 1922

N. coryli is the name preferred by Australian researchers as it is most widely used in the scientific literature (Shivas et al. 2005). However, in this pest data sheet E. coryli is used as the official current name (Robert et al. 2005, Index Fungorum Partnership 2014).

Preferred common name

Dry rot of citrus

Alternative common name

None known

Common host plants

E. coryli has been reported from parts of Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States of America (Mukerji 1964). This pathogen has been reported in association with a diverse array of potential hosts including, but not restricted to:

  • Abutilon indicum
  • bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)
  • cashew (Anacardium occidentale)
  • chili pepper (Capsicum annuum, C. frutescens)
  • Citrus spp. (many species)
  • coffee (Coffea arabica)
  • Coffea spp.
  • cotton (Gossypium hirsutum)
  • cowpeas (Vigna sinensis, V. unguiculata)
  • faba-bean (Vicia faba)
  • Gossypium spp.
  • hazelnut (Corylus avellana)
  • Indian-hemp (Crotalaria juncea)
  • lablab bean [Dolichos lablab (=Lablab purpureus)]
  • lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus)
  • Macadamia spp.
  • Moreton Island rattlepod [Crotalaria striata (=C. pallida)]
  • mung-bean (Phaseolus aureus)
  • mustard (Brassica juncea)
  • pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan (=C. indicus)]
  • pistachio (Pistacia vera)
  • pomegranate (Punica granatum)
  • purple-bean [Phaseolus atropurpureus (=Macroptilium atropurpureum)]
  • soybean [Glycine max (=Glycine soja)]
  • sweet potato (Ipomoeae batatas)
  • tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius)
  • Tephrosia vogelii (=Tephrosia wegelii)
  • tomato [Lycopersicon esculentum] (Wingard 1925, Weber 1933, Mukerji 1964, Burgess et al. 1993, Shivas et al. 2005, Farr and Rossman 2014, HerbIMI 2014).

In eastern Australia this pathogen has only been reported as a pathogen of:

  • Australian lime [C. australis (=Microcitrus australis)]
  • lemon (C. limon)
  • mandarin (C. reticulata)
  • sweet orange [C. sinensis] (Plant Health Australia 2001, Shivas et al. 2005).

E. coryli may be the cause of historical damage of grain legumes (unspecified species), macadamia in Queensland, and cotton in New South Wales (Shivas et al. 2005). Hempiteran feeding damage was reported in these crops; however, the presence of E. coryli was not tested (Shivas et al. 2005).

In addition to citrus species, many alternative hosts reported in other countries are distributed widely throughout Western Australia either as commercial crops or in home gardens.

Plant part affected

Fruit including seed and pulp

Australian distribution

  • Queensland
  • New South Wales (Plant Health Australia 2001, Shivas et al. 2005)

Status in Western Australia

Eremothecium coryli (Peglion) Kurtzman 1995 is considered to be absent from Western Australia and is a quarantine pest. It is a prohibited organism under section 12 of the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007.

To confirm the current status please check the Western Australian Organism List. For more information on prohibited organisms please see frequently asked questions about the BAM Act and WAOL.

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080