A phylogenetic analysis of Mycosphaerellaceae leaf spot pathogens of Proteaceae
Many plant pathogenic foliicolous fungi recorded on Proteaceae hosts in South Africa are reminiscent of members of the Mycosphaerellaceae and their anamorphs. However, these fungi are often unusual and specific to the Proteaceae, and have proved difficult to classify in the past. To address this issue, a phylogenetic analysis of the ITS-1, 5.8S and ITS-2 DNA sequence data was performed to determine relationships between members of the Mycosphaerellaceae and some taxa apparently unique to the Proteaceae. Results from this study have confirmed Batcheloromyces to be affiliated to the Mycosphaerellaceae. Within Mycosphaerella, Batcheloromyces was also shown to be distinct from Stigmina, which clustered separately from Pseudocercospora. The separation between Mycosphaerella and Teratosphaeria (anamorph Trimmatostroma) was shown to be artificial, which was further supported by several Trimmatostroma species clustering within Mycosphaerella. From these data it is concluded that Teratosphaeria should be reduced to synonymy under Mycosphaerella, and that Trimmatostroma represents yet another additional anamorph of Mycosphaerella.