The smut genus Thecaphora contains plant parasitic microfungi that typically infect very specific plant organs. In this study, we describe a new species of Thecaphora from Oxalis lanata var. rosea (Oxalidaceae) in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa. Molecular phylogenetic reconstructions based on large subunit ribosomal DNA sequence data confirmed the generic placement of the fungus and confirmed that it represents an undescribed species for which the name T. capensis sp. nov. is provided. The closest known sister species of the new taxon is T. oxalidis that infects the fruits of Oxalis spp. in Europe, Asia and the Americas. In contrast, T. capensis produces teliospores within the anthers of its host. This is the first documented case of an anther-smut from an African species of Oxalis and the first Thecaphora species described from Africa.
Persoonia aims to publish papers dealing with molecular phylogeny and evolution of fungi. A further aim is to promote fungal taxonomy by employing a polythetic approach to clarify the true phylogeny and relationships within the kingdom Fungi. The journal publishes high-quality papers elucidating known and novel fungal taxa at the DNA level, and also strives to present novel insights into evolutionary processes and relationships. Papers to be considered include research articles, topical and book reviews.
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Persoonia is a journal published jointly by the Nationaal Herbarium Nederland and the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures.
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