Multilocus phylogenetics show high levels of endemic fusaria inhabiting Sardinian soils (Tyrrhenian Islands)

Virgilio Balmas, Quirico Migheli, Barbara Scherm, Paola Garau, Kerry O'Donnell, Giulia Ceccherelli, Seogchan Kang, David M. Geiser

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53 Scopus citations


The Mediterranean island of Sardinia is well known for high levels of vascular plant diversity and endemism, but little is known about its microbial diversity. Under the hypothesis that Fusarium species would show similarly high diversity, we estimated variability in Fusarium species composition among 10 sites around the island. Markers previously adopted for multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were used to determine multilocus DNA sequence haplotypes for 263 Fusarium isolates. In addition portions of the translation elongation factor 1-alpha and second largest RNA polymerase subunit genes were sequenced for all isolates. The intergenic spacer (IGS) region of the nuclear ribosomal RNA gene repeat was sequenced for members of the F. oxysporum species complex (FOSC), and a portion of the nuclear ribosomal RNA gene repeat comprising the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and part of the large nuclear ribosomal RNA subunit was sequenced for members of the F. solani species complex (FSSC). Seventy-three multilocus haplotypes were identified among the 263 isolates typed, of which 48 represented FOSC and FSSC. Thirty-seven of 48 FOSC two-locus and FSSC three-locus haplotypes had not been observed previously. The 38 non-FOSC/FSSC fusaria comprised 25 haplotypes distributed among 10 species, five of which appear to represent novel, phylogenetically distinct species. In general newly discovered haplotypes were restricted to one or a few sites. All FSSC isolates represented new haplotypes in phylogenetic species FSSC 5 and 9, which differ from the phylogenetic species dominant in soils worldwide. No obvious correlations were found between haplotype diversity and geospatial or habitat distribution. Overall these results indicate a high degree of Fusarium genetic diversity on multiple geographic scales within Sardinia. These results contrast with recent work showing that common, cosmopolitan species dominate Sardinia's Trichoderma biodiversity. All data are available for access and viewing from the FUSARIUM-ID database.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-812
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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