We investigated the phylogenetic diversity of 144 Colletotrichum isolates associated with symptomatic and asymptomatic tissues of Camellia sinensis and other Camellia spp. from seven provinces in China (Fujian, Guizhou, Henan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang), and seven isolates obtained from other countries, including Indonesia, UK, and the USA. Based on multi-locus (ACT, ApMat, CAL, GAPDH, GS, ITS, TUB2) phylogenetic analyses and phenotypic characters, 11 species were distinguished, including nine well-characterised species (C. alienum, C. boninense, C. camelliae, C. cliviae, C. fioriniae, C. fructicola, C. gloeosporioides, C. karstii, C. siamense), and two novel species (C. henanense and C. jiangxiense). Of these, C. camelliae proved to be the most dominant and probably host specific taxon occurring on Camellia. An epitype is also designated for the latter species in this study. Colletotrichum jiangxiense is shown to be phylogenetically closely related to the coffee berry pathogen C. kahawae subsp. kahawae. Pathogenicity tests and the pairwise homoplasy index test suggest that C. jiangxiense and C. kahawae subsp. kahawae are two independent species. This study represents the first report of C. alienum and C. cliviae occurring on Camellia sinensis. In addition, our study demonstrated that the combined use of the loci ApMat and GS in a phylogenetic analysis is able to resolve all currently accepted species in the C. gloeosporioides species complex.
- tea plants