Mycological Progress

, Volume 16, Issue 11–12, pp 1073–1085 | Cite as

DNA barcoding and phylogenetic analyses of the genus Coleosporium (Pucciniales) reveal that the North American goldenrod rust C. solidaginis is a neomycete on introduced and native Solidago species in Europe

  • Ludwig BeenkenEmail author
  • Matthias Lutz
  • Markus Scholler
Original Article


Recently, an unknown rust fungus of the genus Coleosporium appeared in Germany and Switzerland on giant goldenrod, Solidago gigantea, an invasive neophyte from North America, and on the indigenous European goldenrod, S. virgaurea. For identification, DNA barcodes were assembled in the course of the German Barcode of Life (GBOL) project and the investigation of neomycetes in Switzerland. Phylogenetic analyses were performed using ITS and LSU sequences of Coleosporium species representing various host plants and geographic regions. These analyses resulted in the first molecular evidence of the North American rust Coleosporium solidaginis in Europe. Coleosporium solidaginis is split into two subclades that are closely related to Coleosporium asterum, a species on Aster s.l., which was formerly synonymized with C. solidaginis. The genus is divided into an American and a Eurasian clade. This phylogenetic pattern indicates that the geographic distribution, rather than the relationship with host plants, played a major role in the evolution of Coleosporium species. This finding particularly applies to the European species, which are genetically uniform according to the ITS and LSU sequences. Taxonomical consequences are discussed. Coleosporium solidaginis is fragmentarily distributed in Europe. The place of its introduction and host shift to S. virgaurea remains uncertain. Life cycle and propagation are mainly restricted to asexual urediniospores. Telia were found only once and the aecial stage was not observed at all on pine trees. The ecological impact of this neomycete is still unknown, but C. solidaginis has the potential to harm wild and cultivated goldenrods in Europe.


Coleosporium asterum GBOL Host shift Solidago canadensis Solidago gigantea Solidago virgaurea 



The authors thank Beatrice Senn-Irlet and Valentin Queloz (WSL Birmensdorf) for their substantial support during the Swiss part of the study. Thomas Brodtbeck (Riehen near Basel) kindly shared locations of rust fungi in Switzerland. Jasmin Joshi (University of Potsdam) gave valuable information about neophytes in general and in particular about invasive goldenrods. Maxi Tomowski (University of Potsdam) kindly informed us about her observations of C. solidaginis in Constance. The authors thank Patrick Dornes, who collected and provided the first specimen from Central Europe. Many thanks go to the Genetic Diversity Centre (GDC) of the ETH Zurich, where the sequences of Swiss specimens were generated and all molecular data were analyzed. Melissa Dawes provided linguistic suggestions on the manuscript. The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment financed the first author’s (L.B.) involvement in this study (FOEN project 05.0040.PZ/O282-2391). DNA barcodes were determined within the framework of the German Barcode of Life (GBOL) project, which is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF FKZ 01LI1501l to M.S.) as research for sustainable development (FONA,

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Copyright information

© German Mycological Society and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ludwig Beenken
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthias Lutz
    • 2
  • Markus Scholler
    • 3
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Research Institute WSLBirmensdorfSwitzerland
  2. 2.Plant Evolutionary Ecology, Institute of Evolution and EcologyUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany

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