Indexed on: 01 Jun '08Published on: 01 Jun '08Published in: Persoonia
Three species of Mycosphaerella, namely M. eumusae, M. fijiensis, and M. musicola are involved in the Sigatoka disease complex of bananas. Besides these three primary pathogens, several additional species of Mycosphaerella or their anamorphs have been described from Musa. However, very little is known about these taxa, and for the majority of these species no culture or DNA is available for study. In the present study, we collected a global set of Mycosphaerella strains from banana, and compared them by means of morphology and a multi-gene nucleotide sequence data set. The phylogeny inferred from the ITS region and the combined data set containing partial gene sequences of the actin gene, the small subunit mitochondrial ribosomal DNA and the histone H3 gene revealed a rich diversity of Mycosphaerella species on Musa. Integration of morphological and molecular data sets confirmed more than 20 species of Mycosphaerella (incl. anamorphs) to occur on banana. This study reconfirmed the previously described presence of Cercospora apii, M. citri and M. thailandica, and also identified Mycosphaerella communis, M. lateralis and Passalora loranthi on this host. Moreover, eight new species identified from Musa are described, namely Dissoconium musae, Mycosphaerella mozambica, Pseudocercospora assamensis, P. indonesiana, P. longispora, Stenella musae, S. musicola, and S. queenslandica.