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Peronosclerospora neglecta sp. nov.—a widespread and overlooked threat to corn (maize) production in the tropics

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Muis, A., Ryley, M. J., Tan, Y. P., Suharjo, R., Nonci, N., Danaatmadja, Y., Hidayat, I., Widiastuti, A., Widinugraheni, S., Shivas, R. G. and Thines, M. (2023) Peronosclerospora neglecta sp. nov.—a widespread and overlooked threat to corn (maize) production in the tropics. Mycological Progress, 22 (2). p. 12. ISSN 1861-8952


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11557-022-01862-5


Downy mildew is a serious threat to corn (maize) production in the tropics and subtropics. Corn is native to Central America, and was introduced into South-East Asia by the Spanish colonisers in the 1700s. Corn is evolutionarily naïve to downy mildews of the genus Peronosclerospora. Consequently, corn monocultures are particularly susceptible to a variety of Peronosclerospora species, which spread to the crop from local grasses. Globally, corn is one of the most important crops for both humans and livestock. Several downy mildews of corn have been identified as potential threats to global food security, and trade with corn seeds is strictly regulated to avoid spreading the pathogens. Despite their importance, little is known about the biodiversity of graminicolous downy mildews, because their identification has often relied on variable morphological features, such as conidial dimensions. DNA barcodes for most species have become available only recently. During surveys for downy mildews on corn in Indonesia, a previously unrecognised species of Peronosclerospora was found and investigated using a combination of morphological characters and molecular phylogenetic analyses. The new species, introduced here as Peronosclerospora neglecta, is widely distributed in South-East Asia from Thailand to eastern Indonesia. The impact of this downy mildew can be severe, with complete crop losses in heavily affected fields. Given the aggressiveness of the species, close surveillance is warranted to restrict its further spread.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Keywords:Downy mildew Phylogeny Poaceae Tropics One new species
Subjects:Plant culture > Field crops > Corn. Maize
Plant pests and diseases
Plant pests and diseases > Plant pathology
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia > Queensland
Live Archive:17 Feb 2023 05:34
Last Modified:17 Feb 2023 05:34

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