Berkeleyomyces basicola

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Berkeleyomyces basicola conidiophores (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - IPM Images

Berkeleyomyces basicola (Berk. & Broome) W.J. Nel, Z.W. de Beer, T.A. Duong & M.J. Wingf. 2018 - (black root rot fungus)

The fungus is an important plant pathogen with a worldwide distribution in temperate regions. It infects a large variety of plants, resulting in stunting, significant yield losses, and sometimes plant death. In particular, it causes black root rot, e.g. in cotton or soybean.

The fungus is soil-borne and produces 2 types of spores. The hyaline endoconidia are cylindrical, about 10-20 x 5 µm in size. They survive in the soil for several months. The thickwalled and melanised chlamydospores (or aleuriospores) are the long term resting stage of the fungus. They can survive in the soil for years and are involved in the dispersal of the fungus. Chlamydospores are about 10-15 µm long and 5-8 µm wide and are produced in chains.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: schwarze Wurzelfäule
• English: black root rot
groundnut blackhull
• Español: enfermedad de las raíces pardas
• Français: pourriture noire de la racine

Sexual reproduction has not been observed, but B. basicola is clearly heterothallic with both mating types occurring in some countries. This suggests a cryptic sexual cycle could exist (Nel et al., 2018).

Chalara elegans
Thielaviopsis basicola
Torula basicola
Trichocladium basicola

For a review see Nel et al. (2019).