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Open Access Coniochaeta (Lecythophora), Collophora gen. nov. and Phaeomoniella species associated with wood necroses of Prunus trees

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Species of the genus Coniochaeta (anamorph: Lecythophora) are known as pathogens of woody hosts, but can also cause opportunistic human infections. Several fungi with conidial stages resembling Lecythophora were isolated from necrotic wood samples of Prunus trees in South Africa. In order to reveal their phylogenetic relationships, these fungi were studied on a morphological and molecular (5.8S nrDNA, ITS-1, ITS-2, GAPDH, EF-1α, 28S nrDNA, 18S nrDNA) basis. Some of the isolates were identified as Coniochaeta (Sordariomycetes), including C. velutina and two new species, C. africana and C. prunicola. The majority of the isolates, however, formed pycnidial or pseudopycnidial synanamorphs and were not closely related to Coniochaeta. According to their 28S nrDNA phylogeny, they formed two distinct groups, one of which was closely related to Helotiales (Leotiomycetes). The new genus Collophora is proposed, comprising five species that frequently occur in necrotic peach and nectarine wood, namely Co. africana, Co. capensis, Co. paarla, Co. pallida and Co. rubra. The second group was closely related to Phaeomoniella chlamydospora (Eurotiomycetes), occurring mainly in plum wood. Besides P. zymoides occurring on Prunus salicina, four new species are described, namely P. dura, P. effusa, P. prunicola and P. tardicola. In a preliminary inoculation study, pathogenicity was confirmed for some of the new species on apricot, peach or plum wood.

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Keywords: COLLOPHORA; CONIOCHAETA; EF-1α; GAPDH; ITS; LECYTHOPHORA; LSU; PATHOGENICITY; PHAEOMONIELLA; PRUNUS; SSU; SYSTEMATICS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-06-18

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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: publications@naturalis.nl.

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