Monday, 5 August 2013

A new species of Leaf-spot Fungus from Fish Poison Trees in Thailand.

Leaf-spot infections are among the most common diseases in plants, and are caused by a wide variety of fungi. Though unsightly, few of these pathogens are capable of doing serious, long-lasting damage to their hosts. Pathogenic fungi tend to be well studied in crop-plants, particularly in cool climates, but are on the whole poorly studied in the tropics and in undomesticated plants in general.

In a paper published in the journal Phytotaxa on 30 May 2013, a team of scientists led by Hiran Ariyawansa of The Engineering and Research Center for Southwest Bio-Pharmaceutical Resources of National Education Ministry of China at Guizhou University, and the Institute of Excellence in Fungal Research and the School of Science at Mae Fah Luang University describe a new species of Leaf-spot fungi found growing on Fish Poison Trees (Barringtonia asiatica) in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand.

The Fish Poison Tree is a mangrove dwelling plant found across the Indian and Pacific Oceans from Zanzibar to French Polynesia, its fruit being dispersed on ocean currents in a similar way to Coconuts. All parts of the plant are extremely toxic, and in many places the fruit is ground up and used to make a poison used to kill and capture fish. In Thailand the plant is used by herbalists to treat stomach aches, rheumatism and worm infections. The plant is also widely grown as an ornamental.

The new fungus is given the name Deniquelata barringtoniae, where Deniquelata means 'short and broad' in reference to the shape of the asci (sexual, spore-bearing cells) and barringtoniae refers to the host-plant. DNA analysis suggests that the closest known relative of Deniquelata barringtoniae is Bimuria novae-zelandiae, a soil dwelling fungus from New Zealand.

Infections of Deniquelata barringtoniae start out as small ash-coloured spots, turning darker brown as they age, and reaching 2 mm across after about 10 days. Eventually these enlarge to become sunken areas of decay surrounded by a white fungal colony. The fungus apparently needs the leaf surface to be damaged to gain a foothold. 

Early stage Deniquelata barringtoniae infection on a Fish Poison Tree leaf. Ariyawansa et al. (2013).

Later stage Deniquelata barringtoniae infection on Fish Poison Tree leaves. Ariyawansa et al. (2013).

Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.


  1. I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know
    such detailed about my problem. You're incredible! Thanks!

    Also visit my web page: Lifestyle Liberation Blueprint

  2. Acute Trek Pvt. Ltd. an indoor outdoor trekking and tours operative company takes you that further way to guarantee you has an unforgettable adventure Trekking in Nepal that you have been dream with Acute trek is part of your choice. We have your choose of trekking for 3 days or 30 or more days it depending of your timetable, sleep under lodges or tent. We always respect our duty to constantly your holiday satisfaction in Nepal. Whether you are looking for a quiet gateway, a memorable Hiking in Nepal outing with a family or an exciting nature adventure. We offer you with the best progressive information and itinerary leading focused and modified as per your requirements. It is significant to memorize, though, it necessitate an enough level of physical homework and must remembers that there is also a psychosomatic assurance in walking in mountains. Acute trek is an attempt to encourage Nepal to the exterior world while striving to defend an aged tradition as well as conserve the surroundings for generation to come. Acute Trek specialize in organize Nepal travel activities excursion such as:- Nepal trekking, Helicopter tour, peak climbing, rafting, mountain flight, Honeymoon Tour, sightseeing tour, jungle safari, Pilgrim's Tour, Hotel Reservation, Air ticket, Tibet Tour, Bhutan Tour, Paragliding, Bungee Jump, Eco Tour, local village tour and many more.