Cercospora zeina is the main species causing gray leaf spot in southern and central Brazilian maize regions
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Maize (Zea mays) fields from a tropical central (Goiás state) and a subtropical south region (Paraná state) of Brazil were surveyed for Cercospora species causing gray leaf spot (GLS), a foliar fungal disease of increasing concern to growers of the country. Single spore isolates were obtained from maize leaves showing GLS symptoms and species-specific primers were used for species identification. In addition, a phylogeny of isolates representative of each species was conducted based on partial DNA sequencing of the EF1-α, CAL, and HIS genes, and ITS-5.8S rDNA region. In the regional collections, Cercospora zeina was the dominant species in Goiás (68/75 isolates) and Paraná (73/75 isolates), followed by C. zeae-maydis and C. sorghi var. maydis, respectively. In three field collections of both states, C. zeina was the sole species found. The phylogenetic characterization of isolates representing C. zeina (n = 18), C. zeae-maydis (n = 6), and C. sorghi var. maydis (n = 2) confirmed the identity of the species and grouped them in well-supported clades.
KeywordsCorn Fungi Phylogeny Cercosporiosis
This work was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); National Council for the Improvement of Higher Education (CAPES); and Araucaria Foundation of Parana State Government (Fundação Araucária), Brazil.
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