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Armillaria Root-Rot Pathogens: Species Boundaries and Global Distribution

Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology (BGM), Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2018, 7(4), 83;
Received: 21 September 2018 / Revised: 21 October 2018 / Accepted: 21 October 2018 / Published: 24 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Pathogens of Forest Trees)
This review considers current knowledge surrounding species boundaries of the Armillaria root-rot pathogens and their distribution. In addition, a phylogenetic tree using translation elongation factor subunit 1-alpha (tef-1α) from isolates across the globe are used to present a global phylogenetic framework for the genus. Defining species boundaries based on DNA sequence-inferred phylogenies has been a central focus of contemporary mycology. The results of such studies have in many cases resolved the biogeographic history of species, mechanisms involved in dispersal, the taxonomy of species and how certain phenotypic characteristics have evolved throughout lineage diversification. Such advances have also occurred in the case of Armillaria spp. that include important causal agents of tree root rots. This commenced with the first phylogeny for Armillaria that was based on IGS-1 (intergenic spacer region one) DNA sequence data, published in 1992. Since then phylogenies were produced using alternative loci, either as single gene phylogenies or based on concatenated data. Collectively these phylogenies revealed species clusters in Armillaria linked to their geographic distributions and importantly species complexes that warrant further research. View Full-Text
Keywords: Basidiomycota; phylogenetics; fungal tree pathogens; fungal systematics; fungal biogeography Basidiomycota; phylogenetics; fungal tree pathogens; fungal systematics; fungal biogeography
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Coetzee, M.P.; Wingfield, B.D.; Wingfield, M.J. Armillaria Root-Rot Pathogens: Species Boundaries and Global Distribution. Pathogens 2018, 7, 83.

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