Knoxdaviesia proteae is not the only Knoxdaviesia-symbiont of Protea repens
CITATION: Aylward, J., et al. 2015. Knoxdaviesia proteae is not the only Knoxdaviesia-symbiont of Protea repens. IMA Fungus, 6(2):471-476, doi:10.5598/imafungus.2015.06.02.10.
The original publication is available at https://imafungus.biomedcentral.com
Two polyphyletic genera of ophiostomatoid fungi are symbionts of Proteaceae in southern Africa. One of these, Knoxdaviesia, includes two closely related species, K. proteae and K. capensis, that have overlapping geographical distributions, but are not known to share Protea host species. Knoxdaviesia capensis appears to be a generalist that occupies numerous hosts, but has never been found in P. repens, the only known host of K. proteae. In this study, extensive collections were made from P. repens and isolates were identified using DNA sequence comparisons. This led to the surprising discovery of K. capensis from P. repens for the first time. The fungus was encountered at a low frequency, suggesting that P. repens is not its preferred host, which may explain why it has not previously been found on this plant. The basis for the specialisation of K. proteae and K. capensis on different Protea species remains unknown.