Undifilum, a new genus for endophytic Embellisia oxytropis and parasitic Helminthosporium bornmuelleri on legumes

B. M. Pryor, R. Creamer, R. A. Shoemaker, J. McLain-Romero, S. Hambleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Fungal endophytes of Oxytropis kansuensis Bunge from China, previously described as Embellisia oxytropis Q. Wang, Nagao & Kakish, and endophytes of Oxytropis sericea Nutt. and Oxytropis lambertii Pursh from the United States were compared and are reported here as conspecific members of a new genus in the Pleosporaceae, Undifilum, based on morphological and molecular analyses. Morphological comparisons revealed characters that are similar to those of the genus Embellisia including conidia ovate to obclavate to long ellipsoid, straight or slightly to decidedly inequilateral with occasionally one or two cells distinctly swollen, and transepta occasionally thickened, dark, and rigid in comparison with the exterior conidium wall. However, upon germination, conidia produced unique and diagnostic germ tubes that were wavy or undulating in their growth until branching. Moreover, all isolates were found to produce the toxic alkaloid swainsonine. Parsimony analysis of sequences from ITS1-5.8S-ITS2, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene, and mitochondrial small subunit rDNA data sets revealed that the Oxytropis endophytes formed a clade distinct from other Embellisia species and species in the genera Alternaria, Ulocladium, Nimbya, and Crivellia. A second taxon, Helmintho-sporium bornmuelleri P. Magnus, was reexamined and found to possess similar morphological features to those of the Oxytropis isolates, but lacked swainsonine production. Sequence analysis placed this second taxon in the same clade with high bootstrap support. The distinct morphology and genetics of these taxa demonstrates that these fungi, both recovered from legumes, represent a new genus, hereinafter described as Undifilum. The two species now placed in this genus are redescribed as Undifilium oxytropis and Undifilium bornmuelleri.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-194
Number of pages17
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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