DNA phylogeny, morphology and pathogenicity of Botryosphaeria species on grapevines
Several species of Botryosphaeria are known to occur on grapevines, causing a wide range of disorders including bud mortality, dieback, brown wood streaking and bunch rot. In this study the 11 Botryosphaeria spp. associated with grapevines growing in various parts of the world, but primarily in South Africa, are distinguished based on morphology, DNA sequences (ITS-1, 5.8S, ITS-2 and EF1-α) and pathological data. Botryosphaeria australis, B. lutea, B. obtusa, B. parva, B. rhodina and a Diplodia sp. are confirmed from grapevines in South Africa, while Diplodia porosum, Fusicoccum viticlavatum and F. vitifusiforme are described as new. Although isolates of B. dothidea and B. stevensii are confirmed from grapevines in Portugal, neither of these species occurred in South Africa, nor were any isolates of B. ribis confirmed from grapevines. All grapevine isolates from Portugal, formerly presumed to be B. ribis, are identified as B. parva based on their EF1-α sequence data. From artificial inoculations on grape-vine shoots, we conclude that B. australis, B. parva, B. ribis and B. stevensii are more virulent than the other species studied. The Diplodia sp. collected from grapevine canes is morphologically similar but phylogenetically distinct from D. sarmentorum. Diplodia sarmentorum is confirmed as anamorph of Otthia spiraeae, the type species of the genus Otthia (Botryosphaeriaceae). A culture identified as O. spiraeae clustered within Botryosphaeria and thus is regarded as probable synonym. These findings confirm earlier suggestions that the generic concept of Botryosphaeria should be expanded to include genera with septate ascospores and Diplodia anamorphs.