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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1995 Feb;61(2):681-9.

Comparison of fungi within the Gaeumannomyces-Phialophora complex by analysis of ribosomal DNA sequences.

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Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre, Colney, Norwich, United Kingdom.


Four ascomycete species of the genus Gaeumannomyces infect roots of monocotyledons. Gaeumannomyces graminis contains four varieties, var. tritici, var. avenae, var. graminis, and var. maydis. G. graminis varieties tritici, avenae, and graminis have Phialophora-like anamorphs and, together with the other Gaeumannomyces and Phialophora species found on cereal roots, constitute the Gaeumannomyces-Phialophora complex. Relatedness of a number of Gaeumannomyces and Phialophora isolates was assessed by comparison of DNA sequences of the 18S rRNA gene, the 5.8S rRNA gene, and the internal transcribed spacers (ITS). G. graminis var. tritici, G. graminis var. avenae, and G. graminis var. graminis isolates can be distinguished from each other by nucleotide sequence differences in the ITS regions. The G. graminis var. tritici isolates can be further subdivided into R and N isolates (correlating with ability [R] or inability [N] to infect rye). Phylogenetic analysis of the ITS regions of several oat-infecting G. graminis var. tritici isolates suggests that these isolates are actually more closely related to G. graminis var. avenae. The isolates of Magnaporthe grisea included in the analysis showed a surprising degree of relatedness to members of the Gaeumannomyces-Phialophora complex. G. graminis variety-specific oligonucleotide primers were used in PCRs to amplify DNA from cereal seedlings infected with G. graminis var. tritici or G. graminis var. avenae, and these should be valuable for sensitive detection of pathogenic isolates and for diagnosis of take-all.

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