Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/23/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Purple loosestrife is a garden plant that has become a noxious weed and is spreading rapidly throughout North America. In order to control this plant without spraying chemicals, natural control agents are urgently needed. A fungus that attacks purple loosestrife has been discovered but could not be identified. After careful examination it was determined that this species was not previously been known to science. In this paper, the new fungus is named, described and illustrated. Plant pathologists will use this research to communicate about the effectiveness of this fungus in controlling purple loosestrife.
Technical Abstract: Purple loosestrife is an introduced plant that has escaped from cultivation to become a noxious weed and is spreading rapidly throughout North America. A fungus that attacks purple loosestrife and may have potential for its biological control is described and illustrated as a new species in the coelomycetous genus Harknessia. This new species, Harknessia lythrii, has dark-brown, unicellular conidia with 2-7 narrow, widely spaced, longitudinal slits. Conidiogenesis in both H. eucalypti, type of the genus, and H. lythri is determined to be holoblastic with 1-2 annellides developing on each conidiogenous cell.