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Fungal Biol. 2012 Feb;116(2):289-97. doi: 10.1016/j.funbio.2011.11.011. Epub 2011 Dec 6.

High levels of diversity in Fusarium oxysporum from non-cultivated ecosystems in Australia.

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Food and Natural Resources, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


The Fusarium oxysporum species complex (FOSC) is a ubiquitous ascomycetous group that includes both pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains, the former being responsible for disease in over 100 cultivated plant species. Previous phylogenetic studies have uncovered at least four major clades within the FOSC, with Clade 1 hypothesised as being ancestral. However, the origin of these clades and pathogenic strains is poorly understood. Due to an emphasis on agricultural isolates in previous studies, the underlying diversity of this species complex in non-cultivated soils is largely unknown. To address this imbalance an extensive survey of isolates associated with native vegetation geographically isolated from cultivation throughout the Australian continent was conducted. A multi-gene phylogenetic analysis of the translation elongation factor (EF-1α) and the mitochondrial small subunit (mtSSU) rDNA loci did not recover any novel clades. However, the Australian isolates had high levels of intra-Clade diversity based on EF-1α sequence type (ST) comparison with a global dataset. The ST diversity was not equally distributed across the four clades, with the majority of novel STs recovered from Clade 1. Implications on the origin of the FOSC are discussed.

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