University of California

Species of Stigmina and Stigmella occurring on Platanus


Donald J. Smith
Clayton O. Smith

Authors Affiliations

Donald J. Smith was Graduate student at the Citrus Experiment Station, 1935 to 1937; Clayton O. Smith was Associate in the Experiment Station; retired July 1, 1941.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 14(4):203-231. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v14n04p203. November 1941.

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The four or five species of Platanus, or plane trees, commonly known as “sycamores” in the United States, occur widely throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. These trees are notable for their picturesque beauty in their natural habitats and are widely planted for use as ornamentals on lawns and along streets. Their foliage, however, is subject to attack by various fungi, among which are species of Stigmina and Stigmella. These closely related conidial fungi possess oval to oblong brown spores, whose distinguishing characteristics are the transverse septa in those of Stigmina sp. and the muriform septa in those of Stigmella sp. These fungi have been reported to cause the production of lesions on the leaves of P. orientalis L., P. occidentalis L., and P. racemosa Nutt. The diseases which they cause are not of major importance, for they do not seriously threaten the destruction of the trees. In certain localities, however, and in certain seasons, the leaf spots are conspicuously abundant, and affected trees are prematurely defoliated.

Most plant pathologists and mycologists who have collected specimens of Stigmina and Stigmella on Platanus orienialis, P. occidentalis, and P. racemose have regarded the pathogens as one and the same species, that is, Stigmina Platami (Fckl.) Sacc. But, when this study was begun in December, 1935, at the University of California Citrus Experiment Station, it soon became apparent that the identity and nomenclature of these fungi were in a confused state. For this reason, a comparative study of Stigmina and Stigmella on Platanus was undertaken.

Organisms Involved

Three related but distinct fungi have been shown to be involved in these diseases: Stigmella Platani-racemosae Dearn. and Barth. apud Dearn. on Platanus racemosa, in California; Stigmina Platani (Fckl.) Sacco on P. orientalis, in Europe; and a species of Mycosphaerella on P. occidenfalis, in the southeastern and southern central United States.

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Smith D, Smith C. 1941. Species of Stigmina and Stigmella occurring on Platanus. Hilgardia 14(4):203-231. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v14n04p203
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