A new species complex including Claviceps fusiformis and Claviceps hirtella

S. Pazoutova*, M. Kolarik, G. N. Z. Odvody, D. E. Frederickson, J. Olsovska, P. Man, Debra Frederickson Matika

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Isolates of Claviceps species with lunate to fusiform macroconidia were collected from panicoid grasses in Texas and Zimbabwe and described as new species based on anamorphs since no teleomorphs were available. Characterization was based upon morphology and partial sequences of rDNA and beta-tubulin. The isolates grouped into two strongly-supported clades. The first clade contained ancestral C. hirtella and C. fusiformis from pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) in clade terminal position with Texas isolates from native cup grass (Eriochloa sericea) and pearl millet grouped between them. The second clade consisted of African isolates from Urochloa and Eragrostis. The isolates from Texas from pearl millet and buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) and isolates from E. sericea were described as new species, Sphacelia texensis and Sphacelia eriochloae, respectively. Both species had morphology, DNA markers, and alkaloid production that was intermediate between those features exhibited in C. fusiformis and C. hirtella. The African isolates from Urochloa and Eragrostis were also described as a new species, Sphacelia lovelessii. In shaken cultures, C. hirtella readily produced a whole range of clavines with agroclavine and festuclavine predominating, but ergometrine was also detected. Claviceps fusiformis produced mainly agroclavine and elymoclavine, S. eriochloae produced mainly agroclavine, elymoclavin and festuclavine and the cultures of S. texensis contained small amounts of agroclavine and festuclavine. Only traces of clavines were found in cultures of S. lovelessii of the second clade. The alkaloid content of infected florets in the sphacelial (honeydew) developmental stage was also measured. Only C. fusiformis and S. eriochloae produced alkaloids in planta at this early stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-110
Number of pages16
JournalFungal diversity
Volume31
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2008

Keywords

  • PURPUREA
  • Claviceps
  • alkaloids
  • phylogeny
  • conidia
  • CLAVINE ALKALOIDS
  • SEQUENCE ALIGNMENT
  • beta-tubulin
  • clavine
  • pearl millet
  • Pennisetum
  • Urochloa
  • Eriochloa
  • MICROCEPHALA
  • PEARL-MILLET
  • AFRICANA
  • ERGOT ALKALOIDS
  • SAPROPHYTIC PRODUCTION
  • Eragrostis
  • Sphacelia
  • LOVELESS
  • rDNA
  • Cenchrus
  • EVOLUTION

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