Mycological Progress

, 15:6 | Cite as

Unseen, but still present in Czechia: Hymenoscyphus albidus detected by real-time PCR, but not by intensive sampling

  • Ondřej KoukolEmail author
  • Zuzana Haňáčková
  • Miloň Dvořák
  • Ludmila Havrdová
Original Article


The native European saprotrophic species Hymenoscyphus albidus seems to be replaced in the recent decade by a closely related, but invasive parasite of ash trees, H. fraxineus. Both species colonize the same niche, fallen petioles of ash leaves. In our study, we aimed at current distribution of H. fraxineus and attempted to find also H. albidus in Czechia. A revision of herbarium material based on molecular data confirmed the past presence of H. albidus in Czechia. Repeated attempts to rediscover H. albidus at four historical localities together with further 87 localities were unsuccessful. However, results of a targeted detection of H. albidus at four different localities using species-specific real-time PCR showed low, but constant presence of H. albidus ascospores. Therefore, H. albidus is not replaced by H. fraxineus, but these two species obviously coexist. Additionally, Cyathicula fraxinophila, another helotialean species commonly colonizing and specific to decaying ash petioles, seems to be unaffected by the spread of H. fraxineus and was present at 21 localities (at nine localities together with H. fraxineus, usually even on the same petioles). Another closely related, but plurivorous species on herbaceous stems, C. coronata, was recorded at five localities on ash petioles. Our results show that helotialean fungi colonizing ash petioles do not appear to be critically affected by the invasion of H. fraxineus.


AP-PCR Real-time PCR Helotiales Historical distribution Coexistence Cyathicula 



We thank Markéta Šandová for her eager help in finding herbarium specimens in PRM, Dušan Romportl for visualization of the collections and numerous collectors (in alphabetical order): H. Deckerová, K. Černý, M. Hrabětová, C. Korittová, K. Novotná, K. Pešicová, V. Pešková, V. Pouska, P. Seifertová, and P. Štochlová. We also thank to T. Kirisits and K. Kräutler for providing strain of H. albidus. Special thanks are due to Hans-Otto Baral for serving as a pre-submission reviewer. This study was supported by Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic no. NAZV QJ1220218 and by Institutional Support for Science and Research of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic.

Supplementary material

11557_2015_1149_MOESM1_ESM.docx (34 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 Localisation of sampling sites and species recorded on petioles of F. excelsior in Czechia between 2013 and 2015. Codes represent herbarium collections deposited in PRC. Entries marked with an asterisk refer to localities with spore traps. (DOCX 34 kb)


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Copyright information

© German Mycological Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ondřej Koukol
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zuzana Haňáčková
    • 1
    • 2
  • Miloň Dvořák
    • 3
  • Ludmila Havrdová
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyCharles University in Prague, Faculty of SciencePragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Biological RisksSilva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental Gardening Publ. Res. Inst.PrůhoniceCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Forest Protection and Wildlife ManagementMendel University in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic

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