Volume 8 - Issue 5 (Special Issue)

Article Number 1

Editorial – Advances in understanding Diaporthe


AJ Dissanayake, AJL Phillips

Received 12 January 2017
Accepted 03 March 2017
Published Online 10 March 2017
Corresponding Author

The genus Diaporthe was introduced by Nitschke in 1867 to accommodate taxa in the order Sphaeriales with stromata, often with blackened regions in the substrate. Phomopsis was formerly known as the asexual morph and these two genera have been linked. Diaporthe was chosen over Phomopsis as the name for the genus since it is the older name. When most names of Diaporthe or Phomopsis were defined, species in these genera were considered to be host-specific. However, recent studies using molecular data have shown that while a few species are host-specific many have an extensive host range.

Members of Diaporthe are pathogens, parasites, and endophytes of plants, pathogens of humans and other animals, saprobes and soil inhabitants. Diaporthe species are pathogens mainly of woody plant hosts, although some species occur on non-woody plants of agricultural importance. These fungi cause a wide range of disease symptoms, including stem and branch cankers, as well as leaf, fruit, seed and root diseases. Prior to 2000, it was difficult to differentiate members of Diaporthe, since many species share similar morphologies. The taxonomy of Diaporthe species is currently being redefined based on a combination of morphological, cultural and phytopathological characters, mating types and DNA sequence analysis. Nevertheless, the demarcation of species within Diaporthe became acceptable only once multi-gene sequence data were generated. Recent multi-gene phylogenies for this genus based on large sets of deposited cultures have identified potential isolates for epitypification, thus setting the application of formerly recognized names. Epitypification and genetic characterization of the type species, Diaporthe eres, established a firm basis for the genus enabling researchers to distinguish other taxa in the complex.

This issue of Mycosphere includes papers that address various aspects of Diaporthe, including their identification, taxonomy, pathology and biology. The precise application of accepted names of plant pathogenic fungi is essential for the development of effective biosecurity and trade strategies. Based on a multigene analysis of all available DNA sequences from ex-type isolates, an updated list of Diaporthe species, together with details of types, geographical distribution and known hosts, are provided.

The papers in this volume comprise several significant findings and encompass a wide range of topics related to Diaporthe. There is a great need for studies on Diaporthe particularly those considering disease progression and etiology. At the taxonomic level, we now have a solid phylogenetic backbone for Diaporthe and this will allow rapid identification of species, providing a basis for the important biological studies.



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Article Number 2

Diaporthe species on Rosaceae with descriptions of D. pyracanthae sp. nov. and D. malorum sp. nov.


Santos L, Phillips AJL, Crous P, Alves A

Received 24 January 2017
Accepted 03 March 2017
Published Online 12 March 2017
Corresponding Author Artur Alves – artur.alves@ua.pt

The family Rosaceae includes a large number of species ranging from herbaceous (Fragaria) to ornamental plants (Rosa and Pyracantha) and fruit trees (Malus and Pyrus). Diaporthe species have been associated with twig canker, shoot blight, dieback, wood decay and fruit rot on members of the Rosaceae. In this study a collection of isolates from several Rosaceae hosts were characterised by multi-locus sequence analyses using the internal transcribed spacer, translation elongation factor 1-alpha, beta-tubulin, histone H3 and calmodulin loci. The phylogenetic analyses of the combined five loci revealed that the isolates studied were distributed among four clades, of which two correspond to D. foeniculina and D. eres. The other two clades, closely related to D. passiflorae and D. leucospermi represent two new species, D. pyracanthae sp. nov. and D. malorum sp. nov., respectively. Further, pathogenicity assays have shown that of the four species tested, D. malorum was the most aggressive species on apple fruit and D. eres was the most aggressive species on detached pear twigs. A revision of all Diaporthe (and Phomopsis) names that have been associated with Rosaceae hosts as well as their current status as pathogens of members of this family is presented.

Keywords Malus – Pathogenicity – Phylogeny – Pyracantha – Pyrus
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About Mycosphere

Mycosphere publishes reviews, research articles, methodology papers, taxonomic works such as monographs, and checklists which are relevant to fungal biology, including lichens. The official journal language is English.

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