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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331710

Research Project: Management of Plant Genetic Resources and Associated Information

Location: Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research

Title: A leitmotif of contemporary mycology has challenges and benefits for plant pathologists

item Dugan, Frank
item EVERHART, S - University Of Nebraska

Submitted to: Plant Health Progress
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/16/2016
Publication Date: 12/1/2016
Citation: Dugan, F.M., Everhart, S. 2016. A leitmotif of contemporary mycology has challenges and benefits for plant pathologists. Plant Health Progress. doi: 10.1094/PHP-RV-16-0046.

Interpretive Summary: Plant health professionals (pathologists, diagnosticians, regulatory officials, etc.) are sometimes frustrated by the increasing number of new fungal species names, especially when the 'new' species seem remarkably similar to the 'old' ones. However, there are multiple instances when the 'new' (formerly cryptic) species differ not just in minor characters, but behaviorally, from the 'old' species. These differences may encompass fungicide susceptibility, host range, environmental preference, toxin production or other attributes. Concise case studies, one with previously unpublished material, are summarized for species in the fungal genera Aspergillus, Botrytis, Fusarium, Penicillium, Rhizoctonia, and the "pseudo-fungus" Plasmopara. All such instances imply that the 'new' species require modified management strategies.

Technical Abstract: Multiple traditional species names for plant pathogenic fungi have been supplemented with new names that delimit formerly cryptic species. In other instances, isolates within a species are clearly differentiated by both phylogeny and distinctive pathogenic traits and are assigned sub-specific designations. Both are cases of cryptic species that are, in some instances, relevant and/or critical for plant disease management. Here we provide examples of such instances in which newly described taxa differ from the original ('parent') in phenotypic traits of importance to plant disease management: host range, fungicide sensitivity, environmental niche, metabolite production, regulatory status or other attributes.