Salisapiliaceae – a new family of oomycetes from marsh grass litter of southeastern north America
Several filamentous oomycete species of the genus Halophytophthora have recently been described from marine environments, mostly from subtropical and tropical ecosystems. During a survey of oomycetes from leaf litter of Spartina alterniflora in salt marshes of southeastern Georgia, isolates of four taxa were recovered that bore similarity to some members of Halophytophthora but were highly divergent from isolates of Halophytophthora s. str. based on a combined sequence analysis of two nuclear loci. In phylogenetic analyses, these isolates were placed basal to a monophyletic group comprised of Pythium of the Pythiaceae and the Peronosporaceae. Sequence and morphology of these taxa diverged from the type species Halophytophthora vesicula, which was placed within the Peronosporaceae with maximum support. As a consequence a new family, the Salisapiliaceae, and a new genus, Salisapilia, are described to accommodate the newly discovered species, along with one species previously classified within Halophytophthora. Morphological features that separate these taxa from Halophytophthora are a smaller hyphal diameter, oospore production, lack of vesicle formation during sporulation, and a plug of hyaline material at the sporangial apex that is displaced during zoospore release. Our findings offer a first glance at the presumably much higher diversity of oomycetes in estuarine environments, of which ecological significance requires further exploration.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 23 December 2010
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