Submitted to: Persoonia: Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2013
Publication Date: 11/26/2013
Citation: Manamgoda, D.S., Minnis, A.M., Kleczewski, N.M., Flory, S.L., Castlebury, L.A., Clay, K., Hyde, K. 2013. Bipolaris drechsleri Manamgoda & A.M. Minnis, sp. nov. Persoonia: Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi. 31(1):292-293. Interpretive Summary: An invasive weed from Asia known as Japanese stiltgrass is taking over our fields and forests. Such weeds can be safely controlled using plant pathogenic fungi. A fungus was found that kills this weed but it has never been seen before. In this paper the new fungus is named and described based on how it appears on the plant and growing on agar plates in the laboratory. In addition portions of the DNA of the fungus were sequenced and compared with other similar fungi. All these methods were used to determine that this fungus was not previously known and to provide a name and the ability for others to identify it. Using this new fungus, plant pathologists and conservation biologists will be able to conduct research to determine if this fungus will be useful and safe to apply to control Japanese stiltgrass.
Technical Abstract: The host Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus, common name Japanese stilt grass, is an annual grass in the Poaceae, subfamily Panicoidiae, tribe Andropogonae. Currently M. vimineum is one of a serious non-native invasive species in the eastern United States. The fungal genus Bipolaris includes a number of grass pathogens. Recently a new species occurring on Microstegium vinimeum was described as B. microstegii. A second species described here named Bipolaris drechsleri has conidial dimensions similar to B. microstegii, but B. drechsleri has shorter conidiophores and conidiophores with more proliferations than B. microstegii. Overlapping conidial dimensions between species are common in the genus Bipolaris and a phylogenetic species recognition criterion is essential for defining species in this genus. Comparing ITS and GPDH with the available data in GenBank reveals that the fungus belongs in Bipolaris sensu Manamgoda et al. (2012). Bipolaris microstegii is phylogenetically close to B. victoriae and B. zeicola, but latter the two species do not show a close phylogenetic relationship with Bipolaris drechsleri, which clusters with B. melinidis.