Studies in Mycology (2004) 50, 551-565
Irene Barnes, Pedro W. Crous, Brenda D. Wingfield and Michael J. Wingfield (2004)
Multigene phylogenies reveal that red band needle blight of Pinus is caused by two distinct species of Dothistroma, D. septosporum and D. pini
Studies in Mycology 50, 551-565
Abstract: The red band needle blight fungus, Dothistroma septosporum is a widely distributed pathogen of many pine species. Three morphological varieties of this pathogen have been described based on differences in conidial length. However, controversy exists as to whether spore size represents an adequate characteristic to distinguish between forms of D. septosporum. The aim of this investigation was to consider the phylogenetic relationships between D. septosporum isolates from different countries. An additional objective was to determine whether comparisons of DNA sequence data support the morphological varieties recognized for this species. DNA from portions of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS), ß-tubulin and elongation factor 1-alpha genes were sequenced and analysed for isolates from 13 different countries representing five continents. Results show that isolates of the pathogen encompass two divergent lineages representing distinct phylogenetic species. One phylogenetic species (Lineage I) is found worldwide, while the other (Lineage II), is restricted to the North-Central U.S.A. The names D. pini and D. septosporum are available for these species. The former name should apply to the phylogenetic species currently known only from the United States. The latter fungus has a worldwide distribution and is the causal agent of the serious disease known as red band needle blight that has damaged exotic plantations of Pinus radiata in the Southern Hemisphere. A PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) diagnostic protocol is described that distinguishes between all the currently known Dothistroma species. The previous classification of D. septosporum isolates into different varieties based on morphology is inconsistent and not supported by our DNA analyses. We therefore reject further use of varietal names in Dothistroma.
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Database assignments for author(s): Irene Barnes, Pedro W. Crous, Brenda D. Wingfield, Michael J. Wingfield
Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds: