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Open Access Application of the consolidated species concept to Cercospora spp. from Iran

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The genus Cercospora includes many important plant pathogenic fungi associated with leaf spot diseases on a wide range of hosts. The mainland of Iran covers various climatic regions with a great biodiversity of vascular plants, and a correspondingly high diversity of cercosporoid fungi. However, most of the cercosporoid species found to date have been identified on the basis of morphological characteristics and there are no cultures that support these identifications. In this study the Consolidated Species Concept was applied to differentiate Cercospora species collected from Iran. A total of 161 Cercospora isolates recovered from 74 host species in northern Iran were studied by molecular phylogenetic analysis. Our results revealed a rich diversity of Cercospora species in northern Iran. Twenty species were identified based on sequence data of five genomic loci (ITS, TEF1-α, actin, calmodulin and histone H3), host, cultural and morphological data. Six novel species, viz. C. convolvulicola, C. conyzae-canadensis, C. cylindracea, C. iranica, C. pseudochenopodii and C. sorghicola, are introduced. The most common taxon was Cercospora cf. flagellaris, which remains an unresolved species complex with a wide host range. New hosts were recorded for previously known Cercospora species, including C. apii, C. armoraciae, C. beticola, C. cf. richardiicola, C. rumicis, Cercospora sp. G and C. zebrina.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 29, 2015

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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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