Rare pathogens on unusual hosts are often providing valuable insight into the evolution of the pathogen group concerned, but it is often challenging to obtain sequence data for these, as because only very few, often decades-old specimens are available. One such example is Albugo tropica, the white blister pathogen of a basal angiosperm in the genus Peperomia (Piperaceae). For this species, only two, more than 70 and over 120-year-old collections available. Here, sequence data for A. tropica are reported and phylogenetic reconstructions reveal it as the sister group to all other white blister rusts of the genus Albugo. Its isolated position is also reflected by several morphological differences to the other species of the genus, such as very thin-walled sporangia and almost smooth oospores. The isolated phylogenetic position of the pathogen and its host might indicate that it is a relict species trapped on its host. The sister-group relationship to all members of the genus Albugo s.str., which have been investigated using molecular phylogenetics, hints at the possibility, that Albugo might have originated in South America or Gondwana and has later radiated in the holarctic on members of the Brassicales.
Organisms Diversity & Evolution – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 14, 2017
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