European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 131, Issue 1, pp 49–58 | Cite as

Plants for planting; indirect evidence for the movement of a serious forest pathogen, Teratosphaeria destructans, in Asia

  • Vera AndjicEmail author
  • Bernard Dell
  • Paul Barber
  • Giles Hardy
  • Michael Wingfield
  • Treena Burgess


Fungal diseases caused by native pathogens and pathogens introduced with planting stock have a significant impact on exotic plantation forestry in the tropics. Teratosphaeria destructans (formerly Kirramyces destructans) is a serious pathogen causing leaf, bud and shoot blight diseases of Eucalyptus spp. in plantations in the sub-tropics and tropics of south-east Asia. This pathogen was first discovered in Indonesia in 1995 and has subsequently spread to Thailand, China, Vietnam and East Timor. The biology, ecology and genetics of this important pathogen have not been explored yet. The objective of this study was, thus, to determine the genetic diversity and movement of T. destructans throughout south-east Asia using multi-gene phylogenies and microsatellite markers. Out of nine gene regions only two microsatellite markers detected a very low nucleotide polymorphism between isolates; seven other gene regions, ITS, β-tubulin, EF1-α, CHS, ATP6 and two microsatellite loci, reflected genetic uniformity. The two polymorphic molecular markers resolved six haplotypes among isolates from Indonesia and only a single haplotype elsewhere in Asia. The low diversity observed among isolates in the region of the first outbreak is as expected for a small founder population. The spread of a single clone over large distances throughout the region supports the hypothesis of spread via the human-mediated movement of germplasm.


Plants for planting Nursery trade DNA sequence Founder effect Microsatellites Germplasm movement 



This work was funded in part by the Australian Research Council DP0343600 and DP0664334, ‘Population genetics of fungal pathogens that threaten the biosecurity of Australia's eucalypts’. Vera Andjic was a recipient of a Murdoch University Doctoral Research Scholarship. We also acknowledge funding from various grants to the University of Pretoria linked to tree protection research and a collaborative research agreement linking the University of Pretoria and Murdoch University. P. Dolok Saribu is thanked for collecting isolates from Indonesia.


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Copyright information

© KNPV 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vera Andjic
    • 1
  • Bernard Dell
    • 2
  • Paul Barber
    • 2
  • Giles Hardy
    • 2
  • Michael Wingfield
    • 3
  • Treena Burgess
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, Department of AgricultureFisheries and ForestryPerthAustralia
  2. 2.School of Biological Sciences and BiotechnologyMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia
  3. 3.Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI)University of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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