|Van Berkum, Peter|
Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/31/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The causal agent of a new disease of bentgrass was reported to be an undescribed species in the genus Ophiosphaerella, based on morphological characteristics of the fruiting body of the pathogen. The new pathogen was further studied morphologically and by a combination of molecular techniques in order to accurately identify, describe, and classify the fungus as a new species. Portions of DNA were sequenced, and DNA fingerprinting analysis was conducted using twelve isolates of the fungus collected from diseased plants from 10 different geographical locations in the U.S.A. The pathogen was further compared with similar fungi to establish its relationship to fungi that are pathogens of other hosts. DNA fingerprinting revealed significant variability within the new species, a sexually reproducing fungus. Based on these data we described this fungus as new species. A key to nine species of Ophiosphaerella was provided based on our observations and data gathered from the literature, to enabl other scientists to correctly identify this pathogen.
Technical Abstract: Creeping bentgrass commonly is grown on golf courses in the United States. In the fall of 1998, symptoms of a new disease were observed on bentgrass putting greens in three states. The causal agent was determined to be an undescribed species of Ophiosphaerella based on morphological characteristics. This was supported by sequence analysis of the complete ITS region of the rDNA. A new species, Ophiosphaerella agrostis, is described based on these morphological and molecular analyses. Intraspecific genetic variation was assessed using Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism DNA fingerprinting of 17 isolates collected from nine different locations. A 90% similarity was found among the isolates.