First record of Colletogloeopsis zuluense comb. nov., causing a stem canker of Eucalyptus in China

08 Jun 2007

Coniothyrium zuluense causes a serious canker disease of Eucalyptus in various parts of the world. Very little is known regarding the taxonomy of this asexual fungus, which was provided with a name based solely on morphological characteristics. In this study we consider the phylogenetic position of C. zuluense using DNA-based techniques. Distance analysis using 18S and ITS regions revealed extensive sequence divergence relative to the type species of Coniothyrium, C. palmarum and species of Paraconiothyrium. Coniothyrium zuluense was shown to be an anamorph species of Mycosphaerella, a genus that includes a wide range of Eucalyptus leaf and stem pathogens. Within Mycosphaerella it clustered with taxa having pigmented, verruculose, aseptate conidia that proliferate percurrently and sympodially from pigmented conidiogenous cells arranged in conidiomata that vary from being pycnidial to acervular. The genus Colletogloeopsis is emended to include species with pycnidial conidiomata, and the new combination Colletogloeopsis zuluense is proposed. This is also the first report of the pathogen from China where it is associated with stem cankers on Eucalyptus urophylla.