This study aimed to characterize the new fungal disease on the stem of red-fleshed dragon fruit (Hylocereus polyrhizus) in Malaysia, which is known as gray blight through morphological, molecular and pathogenicity analyses. Nine fungal isolates were isolated from nine blighted stems of H. polyrhizus. Based on morphological characteristics, DNA sequences and phylogeny (ITS, TEF1-α, and β-tubulin), the fungal isolates were identified as Diaporthe arecae, D. eugeniae, D. hongkongensis, D. phaseolorum, and D. tectonendophytica. Six isolates recovered from the Cameron Highlands, Pahang belonged to D. eugeniae (DF1 and DF3), D. hongkongensis (DF9), D. phaseolorum (DF2 and DF12), and D. tectonendophytica (DF7), whereas three isolates from Bukit Kor, Terengganu were recognized as D. arecae (DFP3), D. eugeniae (DFP4), and D. tectonendophytica (DFP2). Diaporthe eugeniae and D. tectonendophytica were found in both Pahang and Terengganu, D. phaseolorum and D. hongkongensis in Pahang, whereas D. arecae only in Terengganu. The role of the Diaporthe isolates in causing stem gray blight of H. polyrhizus was confirmed. To date, only D. phaseolorum has been previously reported on Hylocereus undatus. This is the first report on D. arecae, D. eugeniae, D. hongkongensis, D. phaseolorum, and D. tectonendophytica causing stem gray blight of H. polyrhizus worldwide.
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