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Free Content A case for re-inventory of Australia's plant pathogens

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Abstract:

Australia has efficient and visible plant quarantine measures, which through various border controls and survey activities attempt to prevent the entry of unwanted pests and diseases. The ability to successfully perform this task relies heavily on determining what pathogens are present and established in Australia as well as those pathogens that are exotic and threatening. There are detailed checklists and databases of fungal plant pathogens in Australia, compiled, in part, from surveys over many years sponsored by Federal and State programmes. These checklists and databases are mostly specimen-based, which enables validation of records with reference herbarium specimens and sometimes associated cultures. Most of the identifications have been based on morphological examination. The use of molecular methods, particularly the analysis of DNA sequence data, has recently shown that several well-known and important plant pathogenic species are actually complexes of cryptic species. We provide examples of this in the important plant pathogenic genera Botryosphaeria and its anamorphs, Colletotrichum, Fusarium, Phomopsis/Diaporthe and Mycosphaerella and its anamorphs. The discovery of these cryptic species indicates that many of the fungal names in checklists need scrutiny. It is difficult, and often impossible, to extract DNA for sequence analysis from herbarium specimens in order to validate identifications that may now be considered suspect. This validation can only be done if specimens are recollected, re-isolated and subjected to DNA analysis. Where possible, herbarium specimens as well as living cultures are needed to support records. Accurate knowledge of the plant pathogens within Australia's borders is an essential prerequisite for the effective discharge of plant quarantine activities that will prevent or delay the arrival of unwanted plant pathogens.

Keywords: DISEASE ASSOCIATED FUNGI; DISEASE THREATS; MOLECULAR PHYLOGENY; QUARANTINE; TAXONOMY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3767/003158510X548668

Publication date: December 23, 2010

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    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. For effective publication under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature the online published papers will be distributed in printed form to several libraries at the same time.

    Hard copy volumes: Twice a year (June and December) the online published papers will be bound. These volumes new style will be in A4 format and full colour and will be available through the Publications Department of the National Herbarium of the Netherlands.

    Persoonia is a journal published jointly by the Nationaal Herbarium Nederland and the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures.

    Fast Track articles are available here
    If there are no articles shown in this section, all the Fast Track articles are published in the latest issue of Persoonia.
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