A homothallic, papillate Phytophthora species causing foliar and fruit blight of noni (Morinda citrifolia var. citrifolia) in Hawaii was identified. The asexual phase of this species is characterized by the production of umbellate sporangiophores and papillate sporangia that are ellipsoid and obpyriform with conspicuously tapered bases and possess caducous, medium to long pedicels. The sexual phase is characterized by the production of oogonia with tapered bases, small amphigynous antheridia and thick-walled, plerotic oospores. The morphology of the taxon does not match any of the valid 95 Phytophthora species described to date. Phylogenetic analysis based on sequences of the internal transcribed spacer rDNA region (ITS) and the translation elongation factor 1 a (EF-1a) of this taxon and those from other Phytophthora species from GenBank and the Phytophthora database indicates that the new taxon is most closely related to species in ITS clade 10, including P. kernoviae, P. boehmeriae and the recently described P. gallica. The most closely related species is P. kernoviae, an invasive plant pathogen causing bleeding stem lesions on forest trees (beech, Fagus sylvatica) and foliar necrosis of ornamentals (rhododendron, pieris and magnolia) in the UK, and isolated in New Zealand from necrotic cherimoya shoots and fruits and soil. Although the morphological characters of the sexual phase of P. morindae and P. kernoviae are similar, the umbellate sporangiophores produced by the new taxon marks the main morphological distinction. In this paper we describe the morphological characteristics, the phylogenetic relationships and pathogenicity characteristics that support the description of this taxon as a new species with the proposed name Phytophthora morindae sp. nov.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology