Togninia (Calosphaeriales) is confirmed as teleomorph of Phaeoacremonium by means of morphology, sexual compatibility and DNA phylogeny
Petri disease, or black goo, is a serious disease of vines in most areas where grapevines are cultivated. The predominant associated fungus is Phaeomoniella chlamydospora (Chaetothyriales). Several species of Phaeoacremonium (Pm.) also are associated, of which Pm. aleophilum is the most common. Although no teleomorph is known for Phaeoacremonium, the genus Togninia previously has been linked to phaeoacremonium-like anamorphs. To investigate the possible anamorph-teleomorph connection of Phaeoacremonium to Togninia, anamorphs of Togninia minima, T. fraxinopennsylvanica and T. novae-zealandiae morphologically were compared with Pm. aleophilum and some representative cultures were mated in all combinations. Although no interspecies mating proved fertile, matings between isolates of Pm. aleophilum produced a Togninia teleomorph within 3-4 weeks. Certain field isolates of Pm. aleophilum commonly produced the teleomorph, demonstrating that both mating types can occur in the same vine and thus also explaining the genetic diversity observed for this fungus in some vineyards. To elucidate the phylogenetic relationships among these taxa, isolates were subjected to sequence analysis of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacers (ITS1, ITS2) and the 5.8S rRNA gene, as well as portions of the translation elongation factor 1 alpha (EF-1α) gene. The generic placement of teleomorphs within Togninia (Calosphaeriales) further was confirmed via phylogenetic analyses of 18S small subunit (SSU) DNA. From these sequences, morphological and mating data, we conclude that T. minima is the teleomorph of Pm. aleophilum, and that it has a biallelic heterothallic mating system. An epitype and mating type tester strains also are designated for T. minima.