Mycological Progress (2017) 16, 135-143

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L. Beenken (2017)
First records of the powdery mildews Erysiphe platani and E. alphitoides on Ailanthus altissima reveal host jumps independent of host phylogeny
Mycological Progress 16 (2), 135-143
Abstract: The tree-of-heaven Ailanthus altissima (family Simaroubaceae, order Sapindales) is one of the most invasive neophytes in Europe. The tree originated in China and became invasive worldwide in areas with Mediterranean to temperate climates. As known from other invasive plants, only a few pathogens have been reported from A. altissima in Europe, and, to date, powdery mildews on it have been unknown in the European region. Recently, two powdery mildews were found on A. altissima during a survey of neomycetes on non-native plants in Switzerland. Because they did not fit with any of the species known to occur on Simaroubaceae in Asia, they were identified by DNA barcoding using sequences of the ITS region of the n-rDNA, revealing them to be the powdery mildews of plane and oak trees, Erysiphe platani and E. alphitoides. This is the first record of E. platani on a host outside the genus Platanus and its family Platanaceae, as well as its order Proteales. In contrast, E. alphitoides has been reported to occur on several host families and orders. Host jumps over great phylogenetic distances—such as across plant families and orders—appear to be quite common in biogeographically novel associations between Erysiphales species and plants. The consequences of such host jumps for identity and taxonomic placement of species are discussed here. It is further questioned whether both pathogens are usable as biological control agents against the tree-of-heaven.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Ludwig Beenken

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Erysiphe alphitoides Switzerland
Ailanthus altissima (weed) Switzerland
Erysiphe platani Switzerland