Phakopsora myrtacearum sp. nov., a newly described rust (Pucciniales) on eucalypts in eastern and southern Africa
Outbreaks of a rust disease in eucalypt forestry plantations and nurseries in Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa occurred between 2009 and 2014. The pathogen was identified using morphology and molecular phylogenetic analyses as an undescribed species in the Phakopsoraceae. A systematic study, based on nuclear ribosomal DNA, showed that it is a species of Phakopsora, herein named Phakopsora myrtacearum sp. nov. This new species of rust is the second validly described species on Eucalyptus, along with Puccinia psidii. Phakopsora myrtacearum is distinguished from P. psidii by leaf symptoms, morphology of the urediniospores and distinct phylogenetic placement. Phakopsora myrtacearum has been found on three species of Eucalyptus in Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa, and it may have future negative implications for commercial forestry in these areas.
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