Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Fusarium is a genus of filamentous fungi that comprises some of the most important plant pathogens and mycotoxigenic molds. The purpose of this investigation was to use morphological and molecular genetic techniques to characterize strains of a newly discovered species isolated in Denmark on compost composed of Japanese plume grass, Miscanthus siensis. Results of these studies indicate that the new species, Fusarium miscanthi, is most closely related to F. nisikadoi, a grass-associated species from Japan. Therefore, introduction of F. miscanthi into Denmark from Japan together with its Japanese grass host seems plausible. Evolutionary relationships inferred from the molecular data indicate that the F. miscanthi-F. nisikadoi lineage is closely related to but distinct from the Fusarium oxysporum and Gibberella fujikuroi species complexes. These results suggest F. miscanthi-F. nisikadoi may represent a lineage within Fusarium that has co-evolved with grasses in Asia. Results of this study indicate that a molecular evolutionary genetic approach should provide an indispensable framework within which mycotoxin origin and production can be investigated for unique species groups such as the newly discovered F. miscanthi-F. nisikadoi lineage.
Technical Abstract: Fusarium miscanthi sp. nov. was isolated from straw of Japanese plume grass, Miscanthus sinensis, buried in a Danish soil. It is characterized by long chains of microconidia which can be either pyriform or fusiform and are produced on polyphialides. Perithecia were not obtained in mating experiments. A strongly supported F. miscanthi-F. nisikadoi clade forms a putative sister-group to the Fusarium oxysporum complex. These two clades form a strongly supported sister-group to the Gibberella fujikuroi complex. Introduction of F. miscanthi into Denmark from Asia together with the grass seems plausible.