Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Two new species of Amphisphaerid Fungi from southern China.

The Amphisphaerid Fungi (Amphisphaeriaceae) are a group of Ascomycetes found In South America, New Zealand and Eurasia. They are predominantly plant pathogens, with some species being considered serious agricultural pests. They are also a source of chemically novel metabolites, which makes even non-pathogenic species of interest as potential sources of new antibiotics etc. 

In a paper published in the journal Phytotaxa on 26 August 2013, a group of scientists led by Yu Song of the Department of Plant Pathology at the Agriculture College of Guizhou University describe two new species of pathogenic Amphisphaerid Fungi from Hainan and Guangxi Provinces in southern China. Both the new species are placed in the genus Pestalotiopsis, and were discovered during the course of a study into diversity within the genus in southern China.

The first new species described is named Pestalotiopsis coffeae-arabicae, after its host, Coffea arabica, the Arabica Coffee Plant. Pestalotiopsis coffeae-arabicae causes reddish brown leaf-spots on the host plant. The species was discovered on plants growing at the Tropical Botanical Garden in Xinglong County in Hainan Province.

Leaves of Coffea arabica affected by Pestalotiopsis coffeae-arabicae. Song et al. (2013).

Conidia (asexual spore) of Pestalotiopsis coffeae-arabicae. Scale bar is 20 μm. Song et al. (2013).

Developing conidia (asexual spores) of Pestalotiopsis coffeae-arabicae. Scale bar is 20 μm. Song et al. (2013).

The second new species is named Pestalotiopsis rhodomyrtus, after its host plant, Rhodomyrtus tomentosa, the Rose Myrtle. It was discovered on plants growing in the Liangfeng River National Forest Park in Guangxi Province.

Conidia (asexual spore) of Pestalotiopsis rhodomyrtus. Scale bar is 20 μm. Song et al. (2013).

Developing conidia (asexual spores) of Pestalotiopsis rhodomyrtus. Scale bar is 20 μm. Song et al. (2013).

See also A new species of Leaf-spot Fungus from Fish Poison Trees in ThailandNew species of Mold found growing on Brazil Nuts in the Amazon Basin and Evidence of fungal parasites modifying the behavior of ants from the Eocene Messel Shale.

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