Mycological Progress

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 741–752 | Cite as

Additional rDNA ITS sequences and its phylogenetic consequences for the genus Leveillula with emphasis on conidium morphology

  • Seyed Akbar KhodaparastEmail author
  • Susumu Takamatsu
  • Mamoru Harada
  • Mehrdad Abbasi
  • Sahar Samadi
Original Article


Taxonomy of the genus Leveillula has long been considered as a challenge in powdery mildew systematics. The rDNA diversity has recently been used for phylogenetic analysis of several specimens of the genus Leveillula. In the present study, additional rDNA ITS sequences are provided and a new phylogenetic analysis is carried out aiming at a better understanding of the genetic diversity in the genus Leveillula. New analyses confirmed that L. taurica is unique in the genus, as it exhibits an intraspecific gene sequence diversity considerably higher than in other species. In several cases L. taurica s. lat. on a certain host plant species has a sequence different from L. taurica on other host plants. Moreover, DNA data indicated different lineages among L. taurica specimens which were hardly distinguishable by morphology. More than one genotype occurring on a single host is sometimes possible. According to these results, several races such as Leveillula on Artemisia, Acroptilon, Onobrychis, are molecularly well characterized. While there is enough molecular evidence to delimit such races as independent taxa, clear morphological delimitations between these new and already published taxa are very difficult or even impossible. However, ecological features, and above all, host specificity for biotrophic fungi such as powdery mildew, would be a good criterion to discriminate cryptic taxa along with rDNA sequences. In fact, many collections of Leveillula strains on different hosts show their own type of conidial morphology, which is usually consistent for a strain on a single host species. Hence, we have proposed to describe new species for Leveillula on some host plants such as Artemisia, Acroptilon, Echinops and Onobrychis.


Erysiphales Powdery mildew Host specificity Taxonomy 



This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for the project No. 53 of Deputy of Research and Technology of University of Guilan, Iran, and by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (No. 23580061) from the Japan Society of the Promotion of Science.


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Copyright information

© German Mycological Society and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seyed Akbar Khodaparast
    • 1
    Email author
  • Susumu Takamatsu
    • 2
  • Mamoru Harada
    • 2
  • Mehrdad Abbasi
    • 3
  • Sahar Samadi
    • 3
  1. 1.University of GuilanRashtIran
  2. 2.Graduate School of Bioresources, Mie UniversityTsuJapan
  3. 3.Department of Botany, Iranian Research Institute of Plant ProtectionTehranIran

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