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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wenatchee, Washington » Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #146352


item KROGER, E
item Roberts, Rodney

Submitted to: Mycological Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/4/2000
Publication Date: 3/1/2001
Citation: Andersen, B.A., Kroger, E., Roberts, R.G. 2001. Chemical and morphological segregation of Alternaria alternata, A. gaisen and A. longpipes. Mycological Research. 105(3):291-299.

Interpretive Summary: Three species-groups in the fungal genus Alernaria produced an unique set of extracellular chemicals (metabolites) that allowed the recognition of those species groups by the metabolite profile they produce. These species groups are also recognizable by their pattern of spore production. Further work will be needed, including describing new species within each species-group, before any species-specific metabolite profiles can be established that will aid in identification of distinct species rather than species-groups. This is important, as there are many plant pathogenic Alernarias that occur in these groups, and it is important to be able to accurately identify them, especially when they occur on traded commodities.

Technical Abstract: Correct morphological identification of Alternaria is important and demands a combination of modern standardized methods and up-to-date literature. The production of secondary metabolites has peviously been used as a means of identification and classification. In this study, 153 fungal isolates belonging to the genus Alternaria were examined. They were grown under standardized conditions and subjected to morphological and chemical examination. All isolates were grouped according to their three-dimensional sporulation pattern on potato carrot agar and their colony color on dichloran rose Bengal yeast extract sucrose agar (DRYES). After extraction, all isolates were analyzed by a high performance liquid chromatograph equipped with a diode array detector and the resulting metabolite profiles were subjected to multivariate statistic analyses. The analyses of metabolite profiles showed that the isolates could be divided into three major species-groups that were morphologically identifiable as the A. infectoria species-group, the A. arborescens species-group and the A. tenuissima species-group. The A. infectoria species-group is chemically very different from both the A. arborescens and the A. tenuissima species-groups with only a few metabolites in common. None of the 35 A. infectoria species-group isolates produced any known metabolites and all had white or grayish-white colonies on DRYES. The A. arborescens species-group and the A. tenuissima species-group, shared most of the known metabolites and had colonies of various shades of green on DRYES. One cluster of isolates belonging to the A. tenuissima species-group was able to produce tentoxin, which has not been reported previously from any A. tenuissima isolate. The resuls suggest that each species-group contains several taxa and these taxa need to be formally described before species specific metabolite profiles can be established.