The infectoria species-group within the genus Alternaria was originally conceived by Simmons in 1993 and was based upon common morphological characteristics that included the development of conidial chains with primary, secondary, and tertiary branching resulting in substantial three-dimensional complexity. These characters can overlap to varying degrees with numerous taxa in another Alternaria group, the alternata species-group, making species-group differentiation difficult. However, members of the infectoria species-group are also distinguished from other small-spored Alternaria species based upon colony characteristics that typically include white or nearly white floccose colonies on DRYES medium and clumps of sporulation islands on low sugar media such as V8 agar, PCA, and weak PDA. In addition, the infectoria species-group contains representatives that are known to produce teleomorphs (Lewia), whereas the members of the alternata species-group and other Alternaria species-groups are strictly asexual. In this study, an assemblage of isolates recovered from varied hosts from the west coast of the United States were examined based upon morphological characters and compared to previously described members of the infectoria species-group. These isolates and members of the infectoria species-group typically produce arachnoid vegetative hyphae with multiple primary conidiophores, whereas other small-spored Alternaria species produce primary conidiophores predominately directly from the agar surface. Additionally, molecular phylogenetic analyses resolved these isolates and members of the infectoria species-group as distinctly nested amongst other sexual taxa in Allewia (Embellisia anamorph) and Macrospora (Nimbya anamorph) and phylogenetically distant to asexual lineages of Alternaria. One taxon among these isolates was novel and clustered with the asexual A. rosae in a distinct clade basal to all other members of the infectoria species-group. A new genus is proposed, Pseudoalternaria gen. nov. and a new taxon is described, Pseudoalternaria arrhenatheria sp. nov. Moreover, a second taxon is reclassified, Pseudoalternaria rosae comb. nov.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)