Nineteen Phaeoacremonium species are currently known in South Africa. These have been reported from grapevines, fruit trees, fynbos twig litter and arthropods. In other countries some of these Phaeoacremonium species are also known from hosts such as European olive, quince and willow that commonly occur in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, where most South African records of Phaeoacremonium have been made. The aim of this study was to investigate the species diversity and host-range of Phaeoacremonium in the Western Cape Province of South Africa by characterising 156 isolates collected from 29 woody hosts. Phylogenetic analyses of combined actin and beta-tubulin datasets allowed for the identification of 31 species among the 156 isolates, including 13 new species and 3 known species that had not been recorded in South Africa previously. The new Phaeoacremonium species include P. album, P. aureum, P. bibendum, P. gamsii, P. geminum, P. junior, P. longicollarum, P. meliae, P. oleae, P. paululum, P. proliferatum, P. rosicola and P. spadicum. All previous records of P. alvesii in South Africa were re-identified as P. italicum, but both species were recovered during this survey. A total of 35 described Phaeoacremonium species are now known from South Africa, more than double the number reported from any other country. This high diversity reflects the high diversity of indigenous flora of the Cape Floral Region, a biodiversity hotspot mainly situated in the Western Cape Province. Paraphyly and incongruence between individual phylogenies of the actin and beta-tubulin regions complicated species delimitation in some cases indicating that additional phylogenetic markers should be investigated for use in Phaeoacremonium phylogenies to prevent misidentifications and the introduction of vague species boundaries.

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Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi

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Naturalis journals & series

Spies, C. F. J., Moyo, P., Halleen, F., & Mostert, L. (2018). Phaeoacremonium species diversity on woody hosts in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi, 40, 26–62. doi:10.3767/persoonia.2018.40.02