First report of laurel wilt, caused by Raffaelea lauricola , on Sassafras ( Sassafras albidum ) in Arkansas
Laurel wilt, caused by Raffaelea lauricola T.C. Harrin., Aghayeva & Fraedrich, is a lethal disease that affects members of the laurel family (Lauraceae) including avocado (Persea americana Mill), redbay (Persea borbonia [L.] Spreng., Nees), and sassafras (Sassafras albidum [Nutt.]). The fungus is a symbiont of an exotic ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus Eichh.) introduced into the United States around 2002 (Fraedrich et al. 2008). The beetle, native to Asia, was first reported at Port Wentworth, Georgia.