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Molecular evidence suggests that Ceratobasidium bicorne has an anamorph known as a conifer pathogen

  • Ari M. HIETALA (a1), Jorma VAHALA (a2) and Jarkko HANTULA (a3)

Abstract

In Finland and Norway, a uninucleate Rhizoctonia sp. is causing a root dieback disease on nursery-grown Norway spruce and Scots pine seedlings. This Rhizoctonia can be fruited under laboratory conditions and the basidial characters fit well in the species concept of Ceratobasidium bicorne, a species originally described as a moss parasite under forest conditions. Further comparison using traditional methods (cultural morphology, nuclear condition, anastomosis) has not been possible as the forest population of C. bicorne has apparently never been cultured. In the present study, we isolated DNA from a herbarium sample of C. bicorne grown on the moss Polytrichastrum formosum. Sequence analysis of the PCR-amplified rDNA region containing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions and the 5.8S rDNA gene was used to examine the conspecificity of the herbarium sample and the uninucleate Rhizoctonia sp. The nucleotide sequence of the 5.8S rDNA gene was identical between the herbarium sample and five sequenced uninucleate Rhizoctonia strains. Within the uninucleate Rhizoctonia sp., the sequence identity ranged from 96.1 to 100% in ITS1 and from 99.6 to 100% in ITS2. The sequence from the herbarium sample fits well within these limits, strongly suggesting that the uninucleate Rhizoctonia sp. and C. bicorne are conspecific. Interestingly, two of the uninucleate Rhizoctonia strains produced two ITS alleles: the genetic implications are also discussed.

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Molecular evidence suggests that Ceratobasidium bicorne has an anamorph known as a conifer pathogen

  • Ari M. HIETALA (a1), Jorma VAHALA (a2) and Jarkko HANTULA (a3)

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