Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/17/2005
Publication Date: 4/15/2004
Citation: Peterson, S.W., Vega, F.E., Nagai, C. 2004. Penicillium coffeae, a new endophytic species isolated from a coffee plant and its phylogenetic relationship to P. fellutanum, P. thiersii and P. brocae based on parsimony analysis of multilocus DNA sequences. Mycologia. 97(3): 659-666. Interpretive Summary: Coffee is a highly valuable commodity and we have isolated symbiotic molds (endophytes) from the coffee plant that may have beneficial effects on coffee growth. During the examination of these symbionts a new species Penicillium coffeae was isolated and is here named. It appears to be a rare symbiont of coffee in Hawaii and its affect on the coffee plant is presently unknown, but ongoing studies may resolve the relationship of the fungus and plant. Species of Penicillium closely related to P. coffeae are also examined, their evolutionary relationships are shown through DNA sequence analysis and a method to distinguish each of the species is presented.
Technical Abstract: Penicillium coffeae is described as a novel endophyte isolated from a Coffea arabica L. plant in Hawaii. The species is slow growing with short, vesiculate, monoverticillate conidiophores. Phylogenetic analysis using three loci shows that P. coffeae forms a strongly supported clade with P. fellutanum, P. charlesii, P. chermesinum, P. indicum, P. phoeniceum and P. brocae. Phenotypic analysis shows that these species are quite similar but can be distinguished. The EF-1 alpha gene from P. fellutanum, P. charlesii, P. chermesinum and P. indicum lack introns, P. coffeae and P. phoeniceum have a previously unknown intron at codon 20 and P. brocae and P. thiersii isolates have a single intron at codon 26. The most parsimonious interpretation of the strongly supported phylogenetic tree requires the gain of a novel intron at position 20 and loss of intron 26 to arrive at the current distribution of introns in this gene. This is one of only a few examples of intron gain in genes.