Thecaphora capensis sp. nov., an unusual new anther smut on Oxalis in South Africa
The smut genus Thecaphora contains plant parasitic microfungi that typically infect very specific plant organs. In this study, we describe a new species of Thecaphora from Oxalis lanata var. rosea (Oxalidaceae) in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa. Molecular phylogenetic reconstructions based on large subunit ribosomal DNA sequence data confirmed the generic placement of the fungus and confirmed that it represents an undescribed species for which the name T. capensis sp. nov. is provided. The closest known sister species of the new taxon is T. oxalidis that infects the fruits of Oxalis spp. in Europe, Asia and the Americas. In contrast, T. capensis produces teliospores within the anthers of its host. This is the first documented case of an anther-smut from an African species of Oxalis and the first Thecaphora species described from Africa.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 December 2008
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