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Title: Asperisporium and Pantospora (Mycosphaerellaceae): epitypifications and phylogenetic placement

item MINNIS, A.M. - Rutgers University
item KENNEDY, A.H. - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item GRENIER, D.B. - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item Rehner, Stephen
item BISCHOFF, J.F. - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

Submitted to: Persoonia: Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2011
Publication Date: 9/9/2011
Citation: Minnis, A., Kennedy, A., Grenier, D., Rehner, S.A., Bischoff, J. 2011. Asperisporium and Pantospora (Mycosphaerellaceae): epitypifications and phylogenetic placement. Persoonia: Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi. 27:1-8.

Interpretive Summary: Fungi cause billions of dollars damage to our agricultural crops and natural resources each year. Knowledge of fungi that are intercepted at the ports of entry is crucial for preventing the inadvertent introduction of plant pathogenic fungi. Two species of fungi intercepted at the ports cause leaf spots and are relatively unknown despite their importance as the defining species for their respective groups. In this paper molecular sequence data were used to determine the relationships of these species to other leaf spot fungi. It was discovered that these leaf spot fungi are closely related despite their morphological differences. Both species are described and illustrated. This research will be used by plant pathologists and plant quarantine officials to identify these plant pathogenic fungi.

Technical Abstract: The species-rich family Mycosphaerellaceae contains considerable morphological diversity and includes numerous anamorphic genera, many of which are economically important plant pathogens. Recent revisions and phylogenetic research have resulted in taxonomic instability. Ameliorating this problem requires phylogenetic placement of type species of key genera. Here, we present an examination of the type species of the anamorphic Asperisporium and Pantospora. Cultures isolated from recent port interceptions were studied and described, and morphological studies were made of historical and new herbarium specimens. DNA sequence data from the ITS region and nLSU were generated of these type species, analyzed phylogenetically, placed into an evolutionary context within Mycosphaerellaceae, and compared to existing phylogenies. Epitype specimens associated with living cultures and DNA sequence data are designated herein. Asperisporium caricae, the type of Asperisporium and cause of a leaf and fruit spot disease of papaya, is closely related to several species of Passalora including P. brachycarpa. The status of Asperisporium as a potential generic synonym of Passalora remains unclear. The monotypic genus Pantospora, typified by the synnematous Pantospora guazumae, is not included in Pseudocercospora sensu stricto or sensu lato. Rather, it represents a distinct lineage in the Mycosphaerellaceae in an unresolved position near Mycosphaerella microsora.