New Ceratocystis species infecting coffee, cacao, citrus and native trees in Colombia

25 Mar 2010

Ceratocystis fimbriata sensu lato includes a large number of plant and especially tree pathogens. In Colombia, isolates of this fungus cause a serious cankerstain disease on coffee as well as other fruit trees. Large collections of these isolates have been shown to occur in two distinct phylogenetic lineages based on ITS sequence comparisons. The aim of this study was to compare representatives of these two groups of isolates from coffee, citrus, cacao and native trees in Colombia, based on morphology and DNA-sequences for three gene regions. Host-specificity of the fungus was also considered. Representatives of the two groups of isolates were morphologically distinct and could be distinguished based on DNA sequence comparisons. They are also distinct from other species in the C. fimbriata sensu lato species complex and the sweet potato pathogen C. fimbriata sensu stricto and are provided with the names C. colombiana sp. nov and C. papillata sp. nov. There was no evidence for host-specificity amongst isolates of these two fungi that collectively represent a serious threat to coffee production in Colombia.