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Species of Leucadendron, Leucospermum and Protea (Proteaceae) are in high demand for the international floriculture market due to their brightly coloured and textured flowers or bracts. Fungal pathogens, however, create a serious problem in cultivating flawless blooms. The aim of the present study was to characterise several of these pathogens using morphology, culture characteristics, and DNA sequence data of the rRNA-ITS and LSU genes. In some cases additional genes such as TEF 1-α and CHS were also sequenced. Based on the results of this study, several novel species and genera are described. Brunneosphaerella leaf blight is shown to be caused by three species, namely B. jonkershoekensis on Protea repens, B. nitidae sp. nov. on Protea nitida and B. protearum on a wide host range of Protea spp. (South Africa). Coniothyrium-like species associated with Coniothyrium leaf spot are allocated to other genera, namely Curreya grandicipis on Protea grandiceps, and Microsphaeropsis proteae on P. nitida (South Africa). Diaporthe leucospermi is described on Leucospermum sp. (Australia), and Diplodina microsperma newly reported on Protea sp. (New Zealand). Pyrenophora blight is caused by a novel species, Pyrenophora leucospermi, and not Drechslera biseptata or D. dematoidea as previously reported. Fusicladium proteae is described on Protea sp. (South Africa), Pestalotiopsis protearum on Leucospermum cuneiforme (Zimbabwe), Ramularia vizellae and R. stellenboschensis on Protea spp. (South Africa), and Teratosphaeria capensis on Protea spp. (Portugal, South Africa). Aureobasidium leaf spot is shown to be caused by two species, namely A. proteae comb. nov. on Protea spp. (South Africa), and A. leucospermi sp. nov. on Leucospermum spp. (Indonesia, Portugal, South Africa). Novel genera and species elucidated in this study include Gordonomyces mucovaginatus and Pseudopassalora gouriqua (hyphomycetes), and Xenoconiothyrium catenata (coelomycete), all on Protea spp. (South Africa).
Original languageEnglish
Journal publication date2011

ID: 322570