Brown spot needle blight, caused by Lecanosticta acicola, is a serious disease of pines worldwide and has become of great concern in Europe over the last decade, with significantly increased outbreaks in pine forests. We examined native and non‐native Pinaceae taxa (four Cedrus and 24 Pinus) in the Atatürk Arboretum, Istanbul, Turkey, for the presence of L. acicola. Needles were sampled from 37 trees at least twice between March 2017 and July 2018. Symptomatic occurrence of the disease was confirmed by isolations, followed by molecular identification via sequencing of the ITS region. Lecanosticta acicola was isolated from symptomatic needles of 10 trees from seven host taxa (Cedrus and six Pinus). Molecular diagnostics of isolates confirmed the identification of L. acicola on Cedrus libani, Pinus sylvestris, P. nigra subsp. nigra, P. nigra subsp. laricio, P. nigra subsp. pallasiana, P. nigra subsp. pallasiana var. fastigiata and P. nigra subsp. pallasiana var. pallasiana f. şeneriana in the arboretum.
This paper is the first report of L. acicola on C. libani and also the first report of the pathogen infecting a genus other than a Pinus spp. under natural conditions. Additionally, it is also the first report of L. acicola occurring in Turkey. The pathogen was clearly able to cause severe damage on native Turkish Pinus taxa, including P. sylvestris and P. nigra subsp. pallasiana, and endangered endemic forms of the host in Turkey.