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Mycological Progress

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 121–129 | Cite as

Reclassification of an enigmatic downy mildew species on lovegrass (Eragrostis) to the new genus Eraphthora, with a key to the genera of the Peronosporaceae

  • Sabine Telle
  • Marco Thines
Original Article

Abstract

Graminicolous downy mildews affect economical important crops like sorghum, maize and pearl millet, and also a variety of wild grasses, which pathogens have hitherto been much less studied. This also applies to an enigmatic downy mildew from Eragrostis cilianensis, which exhibits a chimeric appearance, with similarities to Basidiophora, Sclerophthora, and Sclerospora. In this study, the phylogenetic relationship of lovegrass downy mildew with respect to other genera of the Peronosporaceae was investigated and the characteristics of genera potentially associated with lovegrass downy mildew summarised from historic studies. A key based on the morphology of asexual stages is presented for all genera of downy mildews hitherto described. Based on morphological characteristics and sequence divergence, Sclerospora butleri is transferred to a new genus, Eraphthora. Lovegrass downy mildew seems to be widely distributed, as in addition to previous records from Malawi, India and Australia, we could now sample one specimen from Europe (Spilimbergo, Italy). Currently, it is unclear if Eraphthora butleri is able to infect the crop species Eragrostis tef, which might be a potential host of economic importance.

Keywords

coxGraminicolous downy mildews Grass pathogens Phylogeny Peronosporaceae Sclerosporaceae 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the curators of the herbaria BRIP, DAR, and VPRI for sending specimens for investigation. This study was supported by the research funding programme “LOEWE – Landes-Offensive zur Entwicklung Wissenschaftlich-ökonomischer Exzellenz” of Hesse’s Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and the Arts and benefitted from the discoveries of Shennong and Kaldi.

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Copyright information

© German Mycological Society and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)Frankfurt (Main)Germany
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences, Institute of Ecology, Evolution and DiversityJohann Wolfgang Goethe University,Frankfurt (Main)Germany

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