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Forests 2017, 8(5), 145; doi:10.3390/f8050145

Invasive Everywhere? Phylogeographic Analysis of the Globally Distributed Tree Pathogen Lasiodiplodia theobromae

1
Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB), Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, Pretoria 0028, South Africa
2
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, DST-NRF CTHB, FABI, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, Pretoria 0028, South Africa
3
Department of Genetics, DST-NRF CTHB, FABI, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, Pretoria 0028, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Matteo Garbelotto and Paolo Gonthier
Received: 19 March 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 22 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Pathology and Plant Health)
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Abstract

Fungi in the Botryosphaeriaceae are important plant pathogens that persist endophytically in infected plant hosts. Lasiodiplodia theobromae is a prominent species in this family that infects numerous plants in tropical and subtropical areas. We characterized a collection of 255 isolates of L. theobromae from 52 plants and from many parts of the world to determine the global genetic structure and a possible origin of the fungus using sequence data from four nuclear loci. One to two dominant haplotypes emerged across all loci, none of which could be associated with geography or host; and no other population structure or subdivision was observed. The data also did not reveal a clear region of origin of the fungus. This global collection of L. theobromae thus appears to constitute a highly connected population. The most likely explanation for this is the human-mediated movement of plant material infected by this fungus over a long period of time. These data, together with related studies on other Botryosphaeriaceae, highlight the inability of quarantine systems to reduce the spread of pathogens with a prolonged latent phase. View Full-Text
Keywords: Botryosphaeriaceae; latent pathogen; endophyte; fungal ecology; fungal invasion; quarantine Botryosphaeriaceae; latent pathogen; endophyte; fungal ecology; fungal invasion; quarantine
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mehl, J.; Wingfield, M.J.; Roux, J.; Slippers, B. Invasive Everywhere? Phylogeographic Analysis of the Globally Distributed Tree Pathogen Lasiodiplodia theobromae. Forests 2017, 8, 145.

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