Initial characterization of an unidentified Armillaria isolate from Serbia using LSU-IGS1 and TEF-1- a genes

N. Keca, N. B. Klopfenstein, M.-S. Kim, H. Solheim, S. Woodward

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Armillaria species have a global distribution and play variable ecological roles, including causing root disease of diverse forest, ornamentaland horticultural trees. Accurate identification of Armillaria species is critical to understand their distribution and ecological roles. Thiswork focused on characterizing an unidentified Armillaria isolate from a Serbian forest using pairing, sequencing of the partial large sub-unit and intergenic spacer-1 regions of rDNA (LSU-IGS1) and the translation elongation factor-1 alpha gene (tef-1a) genes, and phylogeneticanalyses. Despite previously obtained LSU-IGS1 RFLP patterns that matched the newly described North American Armillaria altimontana,pairing tests and phylogenetic analyses of LSU-IGS1 and tef-1a sequences clearly demonstrate that the unidentified isolate is not A. altimontana. Based on LSU-IGS1, Armillaria gallica isolates were polyphyletic, and the Serbian isolate clustered with a subset of European A. gallica isolates within a well-supported clade (99%). Based on tef-1a, the Serbian isolate appeared as a separate, well-supported clade (97%)that was basal to other poorly resolved, polyphyletic clades containing European A. gallica isolates. It is speculated that the unidentifiedArmillaria isolate from Serbia could represent an evolutionary ancestral state because of its separate, basal position compared with otherclades comprising polyphyletic European A. gallica isolates. Alternatively, this unidentified Serbian isolate could represent an unusualhybrid because of its high-level sequence heterogeneity, represented by multiple two-nucleotide codes, within tef-1a. Further characterization is needed to confirm the taxonomic status and ecological/evolutionary significance of this unique, unknown Armillaria isolate from Serbia
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-126
Number of pages7
JournalForest Pathology
Issue number2
Early online date8 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

This research was supported by grant from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia and projects TR 37008 and TR31041. N. Keca was supported by a grant from the Research Council of Norway during this work. The authors thank K. Korhonen, METLA,J.J. Guillaumin, INRA and Kjell Wahlstr€om, SLU for the donation of the different haploid testers of the European Armillaria species. We arealso grateful for the help of O. Olsen from NFLI, who has maintained and conducted tests with the Armillaria isolates over many years.John W. Hanna is thanked for technical assistance.


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