Reports of gorgonian diseases have been increasing in the past few years,but, with the exception of Gorgonia spp., the etiological agents responsible are generally unknown. In the summer of 1999, populations of Pseudopterogorgia americana were observed with lesions and galls, somewhat similar to Aspergillus sydowii infections on Gorgonia ventalina, in Bermuda. Surveys of three sites were made, repeated the following two years, and compared with sites in the Bahamas. Microscopic observations of affected tissue and subsequent pure culture studies indicated the pathogen was also A. sydowii. Over half of the colonies at the Bahamas site were affected, but about 60% of those showing lesions, had 10% or less of the colony affected. Pure culture and inoculation studies confirmed that the pathogen was A. sydowii. Isolates from P. americana also were pathogenic on Gorgonia ventalina. Results show that A. sydowii can also infect P. americana and that the disease may be widespread among gorgonians.
Smith, Garriet W.
"Aspergillosis of Pseudopterogorgia americana: Increased Host Range of Aspergillus sydowii from the Wider Caribbean,"
Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science: Vol. 11
, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jscas/vol11/iss1/7