Host specialization of the mycoparasiteEudarluca caricis and its evolutionary relationship to Ampelomyces

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Mycological Research



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Eudarluca caricis is assumed to be a nonspecific mycoparasite of rust fungi. The evidence for its mycoparasitism has rested on constant association with uredinia. In this study, stable isotopes provided additional evidence of mycoparasitism, as E. caricis was enriched with 15N relative to its associated rust fungus, as were parasites and mycoparasites generally with respect to their hosts. Host specificity was directly tested in inoculations in the greenhouse. Isolates of E. caricis from Puccinia on two Eurasian grasses (i.e. Molcus lanatus and Phalaris arundinacaea) did not infect Melampsora on Populus that, in contrast, was successfully infected by a poplar isolate of E. caricis. An isolate from M. medusae on P. deltoides infected a significantly greater percentage of uredinia of M. medusae on P. deltoides than uredinia of M. occidentalis on P. trichocarpa. The host specificity of the three isolates was reflected in their divergence in a phylogenetic analysis based on ITS sequences. Interestingly, the analysis revealed that mycoparasites of rust and powdery mildew fungi have evolved from a common ancestor.

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