DOI: 10.3390/jof10020141 ISSN: 2309-608X

A Phylogenetic and Taxonomic Revision of Discula theae-sinensis, the Causal Agents of Anthracnose on Camellia sinensis

Meijun Guo, Shiyi Zhao, Yue Gao, Xiaoye Shen, Chenglin Hou
  • Plant Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Microbiology (medical)

Tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze) is one of the most important economic plants in China, and has many benefits for human health. Anthracnose is one of the most serious diseases of tea in China, and control of the fungus is important since most Chinese cultivars are susceptible to it. The agent of tea anthracnose was initially described as Gloeosporium theae-sinensis I. Miyake in Japan, which was later transferred to Discula, but this taxonomic position remains problematic. To shed light on these taxonomic and phylogenetic issues, the tea anthracnose pathogens were re-studied. Combining the morphological characteristics and a multigene phylogenetic analysis of nrITS, nrLSU, rpb2, and tef1 sequence data, a new genus Sinodiscula was proposed to accommodate the causal fungi of tea anthracnose, including a new species Sinodiscula camellicola and a new combination Sinodiscula theae-sinensis. Furthermore, the pathogenicity of the pathogens was determined according to Koch’s postulates. This study thoroughly resolves the long-standing taxonomic and phylogenetic problems of the tea anthracnose pathogens.

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