Cladosporium leaf-blotch and stem rot of Paeonia spp. caused by Dichocladosporium chlorocephalum gen. nov.

K. Schubert, U. Braun, J.Z. Groenewald, P.W. Crous

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    Cladosporium chlorocephalum (= C. paeoniae) is a common, widespread leaf-spotting hyphomycete of peony (Paeonia spp.), characterised by having dimorphic conidiophores. During the season, one stage of this fungus causes distinct, necrotic leaf-blotch symptoms on living leaves of Paeonia spp. In late autumn, winter or after overwintering, a second morphologically distinct conidiophore type occurs on dead, blackish, rotting stems. Conspecificity of the two morphs, previously proposed on the basis of observations in culture, was supported by DNA sequence data from the ITS and LSU gene regions, using cultures obtained from leaf-blotch symptoms on living leaves, as well as from dead stems of Paeonia spp. Sequence data were identical, indicating a single species with two morphs. On account of its distinct conidiogenous loci and conidial hila, as well as its sequence-based phylogenetic position separate from the Davidiella/Cladosporium clade, the peony fungus has to be excluded from Cladosporium s. str., but still belongs to the Davidiellaceae (Capnodiales). The leaf-blotching (cladosporioid) morph of this fungus morphologically resembles species of Fusicladium, but differs in having dimorphic fruiting, and is phylogenetically distant from the Venturiaceae. The macronematous (periconioid) morph resembles Metulocladosporiella (Chaetothyriales), but lacks rhizoid conidiophore hyphae, and has 0-5-septate conidia. Hence, C. chlorocephalum is assigned to the new genus Dichocladosporium.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-104
    JournalStudies in Mycology
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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