Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 109, Issue 1, pp 21–33 | Cite as

Three genetic groups of the Eucalyptus stem canker pathogen Teratosphaeria zuluensis introduced into Africa from an unknown source

  • Luke JimuEmail author
  • ShuaiFei Chen
  • Michael J. Wingfield
  • Eddie Mwenje
  • Jolanda Roux
Original Paper


The Eucalyptus stem canker pathogen Teratosphaeria zuluensis was discovered in South Africa in 1988 and it has subsequently been found in several other African countries as well as globally. In this study, the population structure, genetic diversity and evolutionary history of T. z uluensis were analysed using microsatellite markers to gain an enhanced understanding of its movement in Africa. Isolates were collected from several sites in Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia. Data obtained were compared with those previously published for a South African population. The data obtained from 334 isolates, amplified across eight microsatellite loci, were used for assignment, differentiation and genetic diversity tests. STRUCTURE analyses, θ st and genetic distances revealed the existence of two clusters, one dominated by isolates from South Africa and the other by isolates from the Zambezi basin including Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. High levels of admixture were found within and among populations, dominated by the Mulanje population in Malawi. Moderate to low genetic diversity of the populations supports the previously held view that the pathogen was introduced into Africa. The clonal nature of the Ugandan population suggests a very recent introduction, most likely from southern Africa.


Admixture Evolutionary history Multi-locus genotype Population structure Genetic diversity 



This work is based on research supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (Grant specific unique reference number (UID83924). The grant holders acknowledge that opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in any publication generated by the NRF supported research are that of the authors and that the NRF accepts no liability what so ever in this regard. We thank the members of the Tree Protection Co-operative Program (TPCP), the THRIP initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry and the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, South Africa for financial support. We further thank forestry companies and private farmers in Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda for permission to collect samples in their plantations; the Forestry Research Institute of Malawi (FRIM) and the Sawlog Production Grant Scheme (SPGS) of Uganda for assisting with sample collection.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luke Jimu
    • 1
    Email author
  • ShuaiFei Chen
    • 2
  • Michael J. Wingfield
    • 2
  • Eddie Mwenje
    • 3
  • Jolanda Roux
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant Production and Soil Science, Forest Science Postgraduate Programme, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI)University of PretoriaHatfieldSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, FABIUniversity of PretoriaHatfieldSouth Africa
  3. 3.Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE)BinduraZimbabwe

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