Ophiostoma represents a genus of fungi that are mostly arthropod-dispersed and have a wide global distribution. The best known of these fungi are carried by scolytine bark beetles that infest trees, but an interesting guild of Ophiostoma spp. occurs in the infructescences of Protea spp. native to South Africa. Phylogenetic relationships between Ophiostoma spp. from Protea infructescences were studied using DNA sequence data from the P-tubulin, 5.8S ITS (including the flanking internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2) and the large subunit DNA regions. Two new species, O. phasma sp. nov. and O. paimiculminatum sp. nov. are described and compared with other Ophiostoma spp. occurring in the same niche. Results of this study have raised the number of Ophiostoma species from the infructescences of serotinous Protea spp. in South Africa to five. Molecular data also suggest that adaptation to the Protea infructescence niche by Ophiostoma spp. has occurred independently more than once.
|Journal||Studies in Mycology|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
- mycangial fungi
- bark beetles