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Open Access Surveys of soil and water reveal a goldmine of phytophthora diversity in South African natural ecosystems

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Phytophthora species are well-known as destructive plant pathogens, especially in natural ecosystems. It is ironic, therefore, how little is known regarding the Phytophthora diversity in South African natural woody ecosystems. In this study, Phytophthora species were isolated using standard baiting techniques from 182 soil and water samples and these were identified based on ITS and cox I sequence data. The 171 resulting Phytophthora isolates resided in 14 taxa including six known species (P. multivora, P. capensis, P. cryptogea, P. frigida, P. cinnamomi, P. cinnamomi var. parvispora), the known but as yet unnamed Phytophthora sp. PgChlamydo, P. sp. emzansi, and P. sp. Kununurra and five novel taxa referred to as P. sp. stellaris, P. sp. Umtamvuna P. sp. canthium, P. sp. xWS, P. sp. xHennops. Four of the new taxa were found exclusively in water and two of these are hybrids. The most commonly isolated species from soil was P. multivora, a species recently described from Western Australia. Phytophthora frigida was isolated for the first time from stream water. With the exception of P. cinnamomi, very little is known regarding the biology, epidemiology or origin of Phytophthora in South Africa.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2013

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  • Scope: All aspects of pure and applied mycological research and news.
    Aims: The flagship journal of the International Mycological Association. IMA Fungus is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, full colour, fast-track journal. Papers on any aspect of mycology are considered, and published on-line with final pagination after proofs have been corrected; they are then effectively published under the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants. The journal strongly supports good practice policies, and requires voucher specimens or cultures to be deposited in a public collection with an online database, DNA sequences in GenBank, alignments in TreeBASE, and validating information on new scientific names, including typifications, to be lodged in MycoBank. News, meeting reports, personalia, research news, correspondence, book news, and information on forthcoming international meetings are included in each issue.

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