During May 2010, sporocarps of what appeared to be an Armillaria sp. were found in large clumps in historic Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on the foot of Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa. These sporocarps could be physically linked to the roots of unidentified dead trees and Protea spp. The aim of this study was to identify the Armillaria sp. found fruiting in Kirstenbosch. To achieve this goal isolates were made from the mycelium under the bark of dead roots linked to sporocarps. The ITS and IGS-1 regions were sequenced and compared to sequences of Armillaria spp. available on GenBank. Cladograms were generated using ITS sequences to determine the phylogenetic relationship of the isolates with other Armillaria spp. Sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analyses showed that the isolates represented A. mellea. They were also identical to isolates of this species previously discovered in the Company Gardens in South Africa and introduced from Europe apparently by the early Dutch Settlers. Armillaria mellea is alien and apparently invasive in Cape Town, fruits profusely and has the potential to spread to sensitive native forests on the foothills of the City.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|