Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 111, Issue 11, pp 1999–2008 | Cite as

Characterisation of members of the Fusarium incarnatum-equiseti species complex from undisturbed soils in South Africa

  • Adriaana Jacobs
  • Lydia Mojela
  • Brett Summerell
  • Eduard Venter
Original Paper


The genus Fusarium hosts a large number of economically significant phytopathogens with a global distribution. Surprisingly, only a limited number of studies have tried to identify the natural distribution of members of this genus in undisturbed soils. Members of the Fusarium incarnatum-equiseti species complex (FIESC) are increasingly associated with plant disease, and human and animal health problems. Recently, an outbreak of kikuyu poisoning of cattle was attributed to the F. incarnatum-equiseti species complex. Thus, it is of importance to identify the natural distribution of members of the FIESC from the environment. The aim of this study was to use the phylogenetic signal within the TEF 1α gene region to characterise 54 F. incarnatum-equiseti isolates obtained from undisturbed soils from the grassland biome of South Africa. These isolates were further compared with members of the FIESC previously associated with kikuyu poisoning of cattle. The phylogenetic analysis indicated a high level of variation within this species complex. Several members were closely related to isolates implicated in the death of cattle from infected kikuyu grass.


Genealogical concordance phylogenetic species recognition (GCPSR) Kikuyu poisoning MLST Grassland biome 



This project was funded by the National Research Foundation (TTK13070120147) under the Thuthuka project (Grant Number: UID87860). Samples were obtained under permit 01-20957, 15/08/13.

Conflict of interest

All authors declares that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biosystematics Unit, Plant Health and ProtectionAgricultural Research CouncilPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Botany and Plant BiotechnologyUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain TrustSydneyAustralia

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