Molecular differentiation of Mycosphaerella species from Musa
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The three Mycosphaerella species M. fijiensis, M. musicola and M. eumusae, that infect bananas, cause major problems to the exploitation of this crop around the world. Their differentiation is crucial to the understanding of their epidemiology and control. M. eumusae was only recognised as a species in 2000, before which the other two were known to occur on Musa. It is now very commonly present in several countries. Bananas being a major source of revenue for low-income countries, they remain an important export commodity for these developing countries. The genetic relatedness of these three species was investigated through sequence analysis of conserved genes, actin, tubulin and histone 3. All confirmed M. eumusae as being different from the other two. Previous data relied on ribosomal sequences. Primers developed by Johanson and Jeger (1993) and which are specific for M. musicola and M. fijiensis, were tested on all three species. M. eumusae had an amplification profile which allowed its differentiation from the other two. The amplified fragments from the three species were sequenced and sequence polymorphism was used for designing new primers. Two new sets of primers, EuY1/EuY5 and EuY2/EuY5, reported here produced profiles that consistently gave the same bands which were specific for the three species and can be used in conventional PCR for their differentiation.
KeywordsInternal Transcribe Spacer Australasian Plant Pathology Actin Gene Conventional Polymerase Chain Reaction Single Spore
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