Discrete lineages within Alternaria alternata species group: Identification using new highly variable loci and support from morphological characters

Andrew D. Armitage*, Dez J. Barbara, Richard J. Harrison, Charles R. Lane, Surapareddy Sreenivasaprasad, James W. Woodhall, John P. Clarkson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Alternaria alternata species group is ubiquitous in the environment acting as saprotrophs, human allergens, and plant pathogens. Many morphological species have been described within the group and it is unclear whether these represent re-descriptions of the same species or discrete evolutionary taxa. Sequencing of five loci identified three major lineages within the A. alternata species group. These loci included three new phylogenetic loci (. TMA22, PGS1, and REV3) identified as highly variable based on publically available genome sequence data for Dothideomycete species. Lineages were identified as A. alternata ssp. arborescens, A. alternata ssp. tenuissima, and A. alternata ssp. gaisen in accordance with the placement of reference isolates. The phylogenetic results were supported by morphological analysis, which differentiated strains in A. alternata ssp. arborescens and A. alternata ssp. tenuissima and also aligned with previous morphological species descriptions for A. arborescens and A. tenuissima. However, phylogenetic analysis placed the morphologically described species A. alternata and A. mali within the A. alternata ssp. tenuissima and did not support them as discrete taxa. As A. alternata are of phytosanitary importance, the molecular loci used in this study offer new opportunities for molecular identification of isolates by national plant protection organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)994-1006
Number of pages13
JournalFungal Biology
Volume119
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alternaria mali
  • Dothideomycete
  • Fungal barcoding
  • Pathotype
  • Section
  • Species complex

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