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Open Access Co-occurring species of Teratosphaeria on Eucalyptus

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A common leaf spot disease occurring on Eucalyptus cladocalyx and E. lehmannii in the Western Cape Province of South Africa is known from literature to be caused by the fungus Coniothyrium ovatum, which is a pathogen native to several eucalypts in Australia. Recent collections have shown that Australian material identified as C. ovatum is morphologically and phylogenetically distinct from the South African specimens, and that all these taxa would be better accommodated in the genus Teratosphaeria. South African specimens previously identified as C. ovatum were found to represent two species that co-occur in the same leaves and even spots and are described here as T. juvenalis and T. verrucosa. Furthermore, a fresh collection of T. ovata from E. phoenicea in Australia, is distinguished morphologically and phylogenetically from similar, newly described taxa such as T. veloci on E. miniata, and Readeriella dimorpha, which is also placed in Teratosphaeria. Although these leaf pathogens appear to be of minor economic importance, they are morphologically similar to two serious eucalypt canker pathogens, namely T. gauchensis and T. zuluensis, which predominantly cause stem cankers, but could also be found occurring in leaf spots on their own, or in association with some of the other species treated here. Further research is, therefore, required to develop molecular detection techniques for these taxa to enable researchers to rapidly distinguish the minor pathogens from the more serious quarantine pathogens that co-occur on leaves.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-06-30

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  • 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 and reviews.

    Papers are published using a Fast Track system. This implies that the papers are immediately published online and freely available through the internet via this website. Volumes appear twice a year (June and December). From Volume 36 onwards (2016) hard copy volumes will only be made available through printing-on-demand. The issues can be ordered separately through the Publication Division of Naturalis Biodiversity Center; e-mail:

    Persoonia is a journal published jointly by the Naturalis Biodiversity Center and the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute.
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