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Open Access Two new species of the Peronospora belbahrii species complex, Pe. choii sp. nov. and Pe. salviae-pratensis sp. nov., and a new host for Pe. salviae-officinalis

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The downy mildew species parasitic to Mentheae are of particular interest, as this tribe of Lamiaceae contains a variety of important medicinal plants and culinary herbs. Over the past two decades, two pathogens, Peronospora belbahrii and Pe. salviae-officinalis have spread globally, impacting basil and common sage production, respectively. In the original circumscription of Pe. belbahrii, the downy mildew of coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides) was ascribed to this species in the broader sense, but subtle differences in morphological and molecular phylogenetic analyses using two genes suggested that this pathogen would potentially need to be assigned to a species of its own. In the present study, Peronospora species causing downy mildew on members of the Mentheae, including clary sage (Salvia sclarea), meadow sage (S. pratensis), basil (Ocimum basilicum), ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) and coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides) were studied using light microscopy and molecular phylogenetic analyses based on six loci (ITS rDNA, cox1, cox2, ef1a, hsp90 and β-tubulin) to clarify the species boundaries in the Pe. belbahrii species complex. The downy mildew on Salvia pratensis is shown to be distinct from Pe. salviae-officinalis and closely related to Pe. glechomae, and is herein described as a new species, Pe. salviae-pratensis. The downy mildew on S. sclarea was found to be caused by Pe. salviae-officinalis. This is of phytopathological importance, because meadow sage thus does not play a role as inoculum source for common sage in the natural habitat of the former in Europe and Asia, while clary sage probably does. The multi-gene phylogeny revealed that the causal agent of downy mildew on coleus is distinct from Pe. belbahrii on basil, and is herein described as a new taxon, Pe. choii.
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Keywords: Peronosporaceae; coleus; downy mildew; multi-gene phylogeny; new host report; new taxa

Affiliations: 1: Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI), Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Epidemiology and Pathogen Diagnostics, Messeweg 11-12, 38104 Braunschweig, Germany 2: Goethe University, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Institute of Ecology, Evolution and Diversity, Max-von-Laue-Str. 13, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany 3: Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany 4: LOEWE-Centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics, Georg-Voigt-Str. 14-16, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Appeared or available online: March 3, 2020

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