At least four species of Cladosporium sympatrically colonise Phragmites australis
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A collection of Cladosporium has been recovered from common reed growing at Lake Constance (Germany). High-resolution cryo-scanning electron microscopy revealed that Cladosporium isolates from reed are diverse. Morphologically, we distinguished three species, viz. C. herbarum, C. oxysporum, and Cladosporium sp. Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence analysis supported these results and, moreover, separated the most common species, C. oxysporum, into two subclades. Two additional phylogenies were generated to gain support for this finding. The first, differentiating fungi by their capacities to metabolize different carbon sources, showed correlation with morphology. The second, based on actin gene sequences, showed the same overall topology as that of the ITS tree, but resulted in a higher resolution indicating the existence of four or more species of Cladosporium on reed. A nested PCR assay targeting variable sequences within actin introns indicated that these four species sympatrically colonize reed. There was no evidence for mutual exclusion on or within the host or specialization for host habitats or organs.
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