Aurifilum, a new fungal genus in the Cryphonectriaceae from Terminalia species in Cameroon
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Native Terminalia spp. in West Africa provide a popular source of construction timber as well as medical, spiritual and social benefits to rural populations. Very little is, however, known regarding the diseases that affect these trees. During an investigation into possible diseases of Terminalia spp. in Cameroon, orange to yellow fungal fruiting structures, resembling those of fungi in the Cryphonectriaceae, were commonly observed on the bark of native Terminalia ivorensis, and on dead branches of non-native Terminalia mantaly. In this study the fungus was identified based on morphological features as well as DNA sequence data (ITS and β-tubulin) and its pathogenicity was tested on T. mantaly seedlings. Our results showed that isolates of this fungus represent a previously undescribed genus in the Cryphonectriaceae, which we describe as Aurifilum marmelostoma gen. et sp. nov. Pathogenicity tests revealed that A. marmelostoma is pathogenic on T. mantaly. These tests, and the association of A. marmelostoma with disease symptoms on T. ivorensis, suggest that the fungus is a pathogen of this important tree.
KeywordsCanker diseases Africa Fungi Terminalia spp.
We thank the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB), the University of Pretoria, South Africa for financial support. We also recognise the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Yaoundé Urban Council in Cameroon for logistic support and Mr Onana Dieudonne and other colleagues at IRAD for assistance and guidance regarding tree identification. Dr. Hugh Glen provided the Latin descriptions and suggested names for the fungus for which we are most grateful.
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