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Phylogenetic comparison of destructive eucalypt pathogens belonging to genus Phaeophleospora

Andjic, V., Hardy, G., Wingfield, M. and Burgess, T. (2004) Phylogenetic comparison of destructive eucalypt pathogens belonging to genus Phaeophleospora. In: IV Asia-Pacific Mycological Congress & The IX International Marine and Freshwater Mycology Symposium, 14 - 19 November, Chiang Mai Thailand.

Abstract

Phaeophleospora species are foliar pathogens of eucalypts causing leaf blight and discoloration of the lower crowns that leads to premature defoliation, reduced growth and vigour and in some instances tree death within. There are three major Phaeophleospora pathogens: P. epicoccoides, P. eucalypti and P. destructans. P. epicoccoides is spread worldwide but the teleomorph has been found only in Indonesia and Australia. P. eucalypti is associated with serious damage particularly on E. nitens in New Zealand. P. destructans has been described from 1-3 year old E. grandis from Sumatra, Indonesia and is an aggressive pathogen that causes distortion of infected leaves and blighting of young leaves, buds and shoots throughout Asia. P. eucalypti and P. eppicocoides are found in Australia, whilst P. destructans is not and its introduction could be devastating to both native forests and plantations. The biology, ecology, genetics and pathology of these Phaeophleospora species is poorly understood. The aim of this project was to develop markers for the rapid identification of different species. To do this DNA was extracted from representative isolates of each species and PCR conducted with primers for the ITS region, β-tubulin and elongation factor and the amplicons sequenced. Multiple gene genealogies were constructed and the resultant phylogenetic tree showed that three Phaeophleospora species are closely related to each other and some Mycosphaerella sp. while P. epicoccoides DNA sequence were identical to its known anamorph Mycosphaerella sutoniae, the sequence of P. eucalypti and P. destructans were closely related to Mycosphaerella nubilosa and Coniothyrium zululense. Specific markers will now be designed to distinguish species of Phaeophleospora from each other and from other closely related fungi. These markers will be used to identify the pathogen in vitro and in planta.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/7152
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