CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/ 15_003/0000453

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Phytophthora heterospora sp. nov., a New Pseudoconidia-Producing Sister Species of P. palmivora

Bruno Scanu, Thomas Jung, Hossein Masigol, Benedetto T. Linaldeddu, Marília H. Jung, Andrea Brandano, Reza Mostowfizadeh-Ghalamfarsa, Josef Janoušek, Mario Riolo, and Santa O. Cacciola


Since 1999, an unusual Phytophthora species has repeatedly been found associated with stem lesions and root and collar rot on young olive trees in Southern Italy. In all cases, this species was obtained from recently established commercial plantations or from nursery plants. Morphologically, the Phytophthora isolates were characterized by the abundant production of caducous non-papillate conidia-like sporangia (pseudoconidia) and caducous papillate sporangia with a short pedicel, resembling P. palmivora var. heterocystica. Additional isolates with similar features were obtained from nursery plants of Ziziphus spina-christi in Iran, Juniperus oxycedrus and Capparis spinosa in Italy, and mature trees in commercial farms of Durio zibethinus in Vietnam. In this study, morphology, breeding system and growth characteristics of these Phytophthora isolates with peculiar features were examined, and combined mitochondrial and nuclear multigene phylogenetic analyses were performed. The proportion between pseudoconidia and sporangia varied amongst isolates and depended on the availability of free water. Oogonia with amphigynous antheridia and aplerotic oospores were produced in dual cultures with an A2 mating type strain of P. palmivora, indicating all isolates were A1 mating type. Phylogenetically, these isolates grouped in a distinct well-supported clade sister to P. palmivora; thus, they constitute a separate taxon. The new species, described here as Phytophthora heterospora sp. nov., proved to be highly pathogenic to both olive and durian plants in stem inoculation tests.

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