University of Pretoria
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Fungi from Namib desert fairy circle grass and Novel Curvularia species

posted on 2023-01-19, 09:43 authored by Nicole van VuurenNicole van Vuuren, Neriman Yilmaz, Michael J. Wingfield, Cobus M. Visagie

Stipagrostis ciliata grasses from the Namib desert fairy circles were sampled from three sampling regions, and the fungal genera associated were assessed. A total of 487 fungal strains were identified, representing a total of 54 genera and 114 species. Community comparisons also indicated that some genera were unique to certain sampling regions. The most predominant genera included Curvularia (n = 73), Fusarium (n = 73), and Monosporascus (n = 41), with Curvularia including the largest number of species (n = 12). Four Curvularia species were cosiddered novel and described using both multi-locus sequence and morphological comparisons. Multi-locus sequence comparisons were conducted using GAPDH, ITS and TEF1 sequences generated from literature and phylogenies run using IQTree. Phylogenies were edited using Affinity Designer. These species were described as C. gobabebensis, C. maraisii, C. namibensis, and C. stipagrosticola. 



Michael J. Wingfield



Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology