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Open Access Novel fungi from an ancient niche: cercosporoid and related sexual morphs on ferns

The fern flora of the world (Pteridophyta) has direct evolutionary links with the earliest vascular plants that appeared in the late Devonian. Knowing the mycobiota associated to this group of plants is critical for a full understanding of the Fungi. Nevertheless, perhaps because of the minor economic significance of ferns, this niche remains relatively neglected by mycologists. Cercosporoid fungi represent a large assemblage of fungi belonging to the Mycosphaerellaceae and Teratosphaeriaceae (Ascomycota) having cercospora-like asexual morphs. They are well-known pathogens of many important crops, occurring on a wide host range. Here, the results of a taxonomic study of cercosporoid fungi collected on ferns in Brazil are presented. Specimens were obtained from most Brazilian regions and collected over a 7-yr period (2009–2015). Forty-three isolates of cercosporoid and mycosphaerellalike species, collected from 18 host species, representing 201 localities, were studied. This resulted in a total of 21 frond-spotting taxa, which were identified based on morphology, ecology and sequence data of five genomic loci (actin, calmodulin, ITS, LSU and partial translation elongation factor (1-α). One novel genus (Clypeosphaerella) and 15 novel species (Cercospora samambaiae, Clypeosphaerella sticheri, Neoceratosperma alsophilae, N. cyatheae, Paramycosphaerella blechni, Pa. cyatheae, Pa. dicranopteridis-flexuosae, Pa. sticheri, Phaeophleospora pteridivora, Pseudocercospora brackenicola, Ps. paranaensis, Ps. serpocaulonicola, Ps. trichogena, Xenomycosphaerella diplazii and Zasmidium cyatheae) are introduced. Furthermore, 11 new combinations (Clypeosphaerella quasiparkii, Neoceratosperma yunnanensis, Paramycosphaerella aerohyalinosporum, Pa. dicranopteridis, Pa. gleicheniae, Pa. irregularis, Pa. madeirensis, Pa. nabiacense, Pa. parkii, Pa. pseudomarksii and Pa. vietnamensis) are proposed. Finally, nine new host associations are recorded for the following known fungal species: Cercospora coniogrammes, Cercospora sp. Q, Ps. abacopteridicola, Ps. lygodiicola and Ps. thelypteridis.

Keywords: BIODIVERSITY; CERCOSPORA; FROND SPOT; MULTILOCUS SEQUENCE TYPING (MLST); MYCOSPHAERELLA; PHYLOGENY; PTERIDOPHYTA; SYSTEMATICS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 28, 2016

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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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