Molecular phylogenetic analyses reveal three new Ceratocystis species and provide evidence for geographic differentiation of the genus in Africa
Michael Mbenoun & Michael J. Wingfield & Aimé D. Begoude Boyogueno & Brenda D. Wingfield & Jolanda Roux
The emergence of wattle wilt disease on nonnative Acacia mearnsii trees in Africa, caused by the indigenous
fungus Ceratocystis albifundus, has highlighted a need to better understand the diversity, ecology and distribution of Ceratocystis species in natural African environments. In this study we applied phylogenetic inference to identify and characterize isolates of Ceratocystis collected in a natural savanna ecosystem in South Africa. Three new species were recognized and are described as C. cryptoformis sp. nov. in the C. moniliformis complex, as well as C. thulamelensis sp. nov. and C. zambeziensis sp. nov., both residing in the C. fimbriata complex. Incorporating the new species into global phylogenies of Ceratocystis provided insights into the patterns of evolution and biogeography of this group of fungi. Notably, the African continent was identified as an important centre of diversification of Ceratocystis spp., from which several lineages of these fungi were shown to have radiated.
Download the PDF paper: Mbenoun et al 2013 Molecular phylogenetic analyses reveal three new Ceratocystis species and provide evidence for geographic differentiation of the genus in Africa