Application of the consolidated species concept to Cercospora spp. from Iran

M Bakhshi, M Arzanlou, A Babai-Ahari, J Z Groenewald, U Braun, P W Crous

    Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


    The genus Cercospora includes many important plant pathogenic fungi associated with leaf spot diseases on a wide range of hosts. The mainland of Iran covers various climatic regions with a great biodiversity of vascular plants, and a correspondingly high diversity of cercosporoid fungi. However, most of the cercosporoid species found to date have been identified on the basis of morphological characteristics and there are no cultures that support these identifications. In this study the Consolidated Species Concept was applied to differentiate Cercospora species collected from Iran. A total of 161 Cercospora isolates recovered from 74 host species in northern Iran were studied by molecular phylogenetic analysis. Our results revealed a rich diversity of Cercospora species in northern Iran. Twenty species were identified based on sequence data of five genomic loci (ITS, TEF1-α, actin, calmodulin and histone H3), host, cultural and morphological data. Six novel species, viz. C. convolvulicola, C. conyzae-canadensis, C. cylindracea, C. iranica, C. pseudochenopodii and C. sorghicola, are introduced. The most common taxon was Cercospora cf. flagellaris, which remains an unresolved species complex with a wide host range. New hosts were recorded for previously known Cercospora species, including C. apii, C. armoraciae, C. beticola, C. cf. richardiicola, C. rumicis, Cercospora sp. G and C. zebrina.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-86
    Number of pages22
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

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