Phylogeny of Cirsium spp. in North America: Host Specificity Does Not Follow Phylogeny.
ABSTRACT: Weedy invasive Cirsium spp. are widespread in temperate regions of North America and some of their biological control agents have attacked native Cirsium spp. A phylogenetic tree was developed from DNA sequences for the internal transcribed spacer and external transcribed spacer regions from native and non-native Great Plains Cirsium spp. and other thistles to determine if host specificity follows phylogeny. The monophyly of Cirsium spp. and Carduus within the tribe Cardinae was confirmed with native North American and European lineages of the Cirsium spp. examined. We did not detect interspecific hybridization between the introduced invasive and the native North American Cirsium spp. Selected host-biological control agent interactions were mapped onto the phylogenic tree derived by maximum likelihood analysis to examine the co-occurrence of known hosts with biological control agents. Within Cirsium-Cardueae, the insect biological control agents do not associate with host phylogenetic lines. Thus, more comprehensive testing of species in host-specificity trials, rather than relying on a single representative of a given clade may be necessary; because the assumption that host-specificity follows phylogeny does not necessarily hold. Since the assumption does not always hold, it will also be important to evaluate ecological factors to provide better cues for host specificity.
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>The broomrapes, Orobanche sensu lato (Orobanchaceae), are common root parasites found across Eurasia, Africa and the Americas. All species native to the western hemisphere, recognized as Orobanche sections Gymnocaulis and Nothaphyllon, form a clade that has a centre of diversity in western North America, but also includes four disjunct species in central and southern South America. The wide ecological distribution coupled with moderate taxonomic diversity make this clade a valuable model system for studying the role, if any, of host-switching in driving the diversification of plant parasites.<h4>Methods</h4>Two spacer regions of ribosomal nuclear DNA (ITS + ETS), three plastid regions and one low-copy nuclear gene were sampled from 163 exemplars of Orobanche from across the native geographic range in order to infer a detailed phylogeny. Together with comprehensive data on the parasites' native host ranges, associations between phylogenetic lineages and host specificity are tested.<h4>Key results</h4>Within the two currently recognized species of O. sect. Gymnocaulis, seven strongly supported clades were found. While commonly sympatric, members of these clades each had unique host associations. Strong support for cryptic host-specific diversity was also found in sect. Nothaphyllon, while other taxonomic species were well supported. We also find strong evidence for multiple amphitropical dispersals from central North America into South America.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Host-switching is an important driver of diversification in western hemisphere broomrapes, where host specificity has been grossly underestimated. More broadly, host specificity and host-switching probably play fundamental roles in the speciation of parasitic plants.
Project description:Introduced European genotypes of <i>Phragmites australis</i> are invasive and widespread in North America. Decades of management using herbicide and other means have failed to control the species and its range and populations continue to expand. Allowing continued invasion threatens native wetland biota and an endemic North American subspecies <i>Phragmites australis americanus</i>. The lack of conventional management to control introduced <i>P. australis</i> triggered research to assess host specificity of two European noctuid moths, <i>Archanara geminipuncta</i> and <i>Archanara neurica</i>. These two species are considered particularly promising potential biocontrol agents for introduced <i>P. australis</i>. Here we provide the complete and approved list of test plants used to assess host specificity of <i>A. geminipuncta</i> and <i>A. neurica</i>. This includes data on neonate larval acceptance and survival under no-choice conditions, and oviposition tests for all plant species tested, including for different <i>Phragmites</i> subspecies currently occurring in North America. We further provide temperature profiles of select cities in the temperate native European distribution of the two noctuids and those in southern US climates. We used these long-term temperature records to assess whether overwintering eggs of <i>A. geminipuncta</i> and <i>A. neurica</i> can survive under climate conditions typical for the Gulf Coast region in North America. This data article refers to "Host specificity and risk assessment of <i>Archanara</i><i>geminipuncta</i> and <i>Archanara</i><i>neurica</i>, two potential biocontrol agents for invasive <i>Phragmites</i><i>australis</i> in North America Biol. Control (2018)".
Project description:Oobius Trjapitzin (Hymenoptera, Encyrtidae) species are egg parasitoids that are important for the biological control of some Buprestidae and Cerambycidae (Coleoptera). Two species, Oobiusagrili Zhang & Huang and Oobiuslongoi (Siscaro), were introduced into North America for classical biocontrol and have successfully established. Two new native North American species that parasitize eggs of Agrilus spp. (Buprestidae) are described and illustrated from the USA: Oobiusminusculus Triapitsyn & Petrice, sp. n. (Michigan), an egg parasitoid of both Agrilussubcinctus Gory on ash (Fraxinus spp.) and Agrilusegenus Gory on black locust (Robiniapseudoacacia L.) trees, and Oobiuswhiteorum Triapitsyn, sp. n. (Pennsylvania), an egg parasitoid of Agrilusanxius Gory on European white birch (Betulapendula Roth). A taxonomic key and notes on the Nearctic native and introduced Oobius species are also included.
Project description:Egg parasitoids have evolved adaptations to exploit host-associated cues, especially oviposition-induced plant volatiles and odors of gravid females, when foraging for hosts. The entire host selection process is critical for successful parasitism and relevant in defining host specificity of parasitoids. We hypothesized that naïve egg parasitoid females reared on their coevolved host are able to exploit cues related to the coevolved host but not those from a novel host. We used the egg parasitoid Trissolcus japonicus, its coevolved host Halyomorpha halys, and the non-coevolved host Podisus maculiventris to evaluate this hypothesis. H. halys, a polyphagous pest native from Eastern Asia, has invaded North America and Europe, resulting in serious damage to crops. T. japonicus is the most effective egg parasitoid of H. halys in its native area and thus considered a major candidate for biological control. This parasitoid was detected in North America and Europe as a result of accidental introductions. Laboratory host range of T. japonicus includes P. maculiventris, an American predatory stink bug used as a biological control agent of several pests. Using T. japonicus reared on its natural host H. halys, we tested in a Y-tube olfactometer the responses of naïve parasitoid females to volatiles from tomato plants with a deposited egg mass and feeding punctures of either H. halys or P. maculiventris. Additionally, using two different olfactometer set-ups, we tested T. japonicus responses to volatiles emitted by eggs and mature males and females of H. halys or P. maculiventris. Tomato plants subjected to oviposition and feeding by H. halys were preferred by the wasp compared to clean plants, suggesting a possible activation of an indirect defense mechanism. Furthermore, T. japonicus females were attracted by cues from gravid females and mature males of H. halys but not from eggs. By contrast, naïve parasitoid females never responded to cues associated with P. maculiventris, although this non-target host is suitable for complete parasitoid development. Such lack of responses might reduce the probability of T. japonicus locating and parasitizing P. maculiventris under field conditions. Our experimental approach properly simulates the parasitoid host-location process and could be combined with the required host specificity tests for risk assessment in biological control programs.
Project description:Coccidioides spp. are dimorphic fungal pathogens endemic to the semiarid regions of North, Central, and South America. Currently, direct smear and culture are the most common means of identifying Coccidioides spp. While these methods offer relatively sensitive and specific means of detecting Coccidioides spp., growth in culture may take up to 3 weeks, potentially delaying the diagnosis and initiation of appropriate antifungal therapy. In addition, growth of the organism represents a significant safety risk to laboratory personnel. The need for a rapid and safe means of diagnosing coccidioidomycosis prompted us to develop a real-time PCR assay to detect Coccidioides spp. directly from clinical specimens. Primers and fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET) probes were designed to target the internal transcribed spacer 2 region of Coccidioides. The assay's limit of detection is below 50 targets per reaction. An analysis of 40 Coccidioides sp. clinical isolates grown in culture demonstrated 100% sensitivity of the assay. A cross-reactivity panel containing fungi, bacteria, mycobacteria, and viruses was tested and demonstrated 100% specificity for Coccidioides spp. An analysis of 266 respiratory specimens by LightCycler PCR demonstrated 100% sensitivity and 98.4% specificity for Coccidioides spp. compared with culture. Analysis of 66 fresh tissue specimens yielded 92.9% sensitivity and 98.1% specificity versus those of the culture method. The sensitivity of the assay testing 148 paraffin-embedded tissue samples is 73.4%. A rapid method for the detection of Coccidioides spp. directly from clinical material will greatly assist in the timely diagnosis and treatment of patients, while at the same time decreasing the risk of accidental exposure to laboratory personnel.
Project description:Lytic bacteriophages are in development as biological control agents for the prevention of fire blight disease caused by Erwinia amylovora. Temperate phages should be excluded as biologicals since lysogeny produces the dual risks of host resistance to phage attack and the transduction of virulence determinants between bacteria. The extent of lysogeny was estimated in wild populations of E.?amylovora and Pantoea agglomerans with real-time polymerase chain reaction primers developed to detect E.?amylovora phages belonging to the Myoviridae and Podoviridae families. Pantoea agglomerans, an orchard epiphyte, is easily infected by Erwinia spp. phages, and it serves as a carrier in the development of the phage-mediated biological control agent. Screening of 161 E.?amylovora isolates from 16 distinct geographical areas in North America, Europe, North Africa and New Zealand and 82 P.?agglomerans isolates from southern Ontario, Canada showed that none possessed prophage. Unstable phage resistant clones or lysogens were produced under laboratory conditions. Additionally, a stable lysogen was recovered from infection of bacterial isolate Ea110R with Podoviridae phage ?Ea35-20. These laboratory observations suggested that while lysogeny is possible in E.?amylovora, it is rare or absent in natural populations, and there is a minimal risk associated with lysogenic conversion and transduction by Erwinia spp. phages.
Project description:Determining the most likely source of an invasive pest species might help to improve their management by establishing efficient quarantine measures and heading the search of efficient biological control agents. Planococcus ficus is an invasive mealybug pest of vineyards in Argentina, California, Mexico, Peru and South Africa. This mealybug pest had a previously known geographic distribution spanning southern Europe, the Middle East, and parts of northern Africa. In North America, Pl. ficus was first discovered in the early 1990s and soon thereafter in Mexico. To determine the origin of invasive populations in North America, Pl. ficus from California and Mexico were compared with material throughout its presumptive native range in the Mediterranean region, as well as material collected from an older invasion in South Africa and recently invaded Argentina. From each sample location, genomic DNA was sequenced for the nuclear internal transcribed spacer one (ITS1) and the mitochondrial cytochrome c. oxidase one (CO1). Phylogenetic analyses of CO1, ITS1 and concatenated CO1 and ITS1 data-sets using Bayesian and neighbor-joining analysis support two major divisions: a European grouping (Europe, Tunisia, Turkey) and a Middle Eastern grouping (Israel and Egypt). The invasive populations in Argentina and South Africa align with the European group and the invasive populations in North America align with the Middle Eastern group, with one Israel sample aligning closely with the North American clade, suggesting that Israel was the origin of those populations.
Project description:In contrast to Eurasia and North America, powdery mildews (Ascomycota, Erysiphales) are understudied in Australia. There are over 900 species known globally, with fewer than currently 60 recorded from Australia. Some of the Australian records are doubtful as the identifications were presumptive, being based on host plant-pathogen lists from overseas. The goal of this study was to provide the first comprehensive catalog of all powdery mildew species present in Australia. The project resulted in (i) an up-to-date list of all the taxa that have been identified in Australia based on published DNA barcode sequences prior to this study; (ii) the precise identification of 117 specimens freshly collected from across the country; and (iii) the precise identification of 30 herbarium specimens collected between 1975 and 2013. This study confirmed 42 species representing 10 genera, including two genera and 13 species recorded for the first time in Australia. In Eurasia and North America, the number of powdery mildew species is much higher. Phylogenetic analyses of powdery mildews collected from Acalypha spp. resulted in the transfer of Erysiphe acalyphae to Salmonomyces, a resurrected genus. Salmonomyces acalyphae comb. nov. represents a newly discovered lineage of the Erysiphales. Another taxonomic change is the transfer of Oidium ixodiae to Golovinomyces. Powdery mildew infections have been confirmed on 13 native Australian plant species in the genera Acacia, Acalypha, Cephalotus, Convolvulus, Eucalyptus, Hardenbergia, Ixodia, Jagera, Senecio, and Trema. Most of the causal agents were polyphagous species that infect many other host plants both overseas and in Australia. All powdery mildews infecting native plants in Australia were phylogenetically closely related to species known overseas. The data indicate that Australia is a continent without native powdery mildews, and most, if not all, species have been introduced since the European colonization of the continent.