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Open Access Plectosphaerella species associated with root and collar rots of horticultural crops in southern Italy

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Plectosphaerella cucumerina, most frequently encountered in its Plectosporium state, is well known as a pathogen of several plant species causing fruit, root and collar rot, and collapse. It is considered to pose a serious threat to melon (Cucumis melo) production in Italy. In the present study, an intensive sampling of diseased cucurbits as well as tomato and bell pepper was done and the fungal pathogens present on them were isolated. Phylogenetic relationships of the isolates were determined through a study of ribosomal RNA gene sequences (ITS cluster and D1/D2 domain of the 28S rRNA gene). Combining morphological, culture and molecular data, six species were distinguished. One of these (Pa. cucumerina) is already known. Four new species are described as Plectosphaerella citrullae, Pa. pauciseptata, Pa. plurivora and Pa. ramiseptata. Acremonium cucurbitacearum is shown to be a synonym of Nodulisporium melonis and is transferred to Plectosphaerella as Plectosphaerella melonis comb. nov. A further three known species of Plectosporium are recombined in Plectosphaerella.

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Keywords: D1/D2; ITS LSU; PHYLOGENY; PLECTOSPORIUM; RDNA; SYSTEMATICS; TAXONOMY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-30

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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: [email protected]

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