Taphrina Fries is a genus of dimorphic ascomycetes comprising more than 90 species distinguished by the specific infections they produce on different vascular plants. Their filamentous states are restricted to parasitised plant tissue whereas the yeast states are saprobic and can be grown on artificial media. The latter coincide with the anamorphic phases and have been given separate nomenclatural status by the erection of the genus Lalaria R.T. Moore. In its original circumscription Lalaria included only 23 yeast states of known species of Taphrina and its creation was then redundant. Here we describe five novel species in the genus Lalaria to accommodate a total of 44 yeast isolates obtained mainly from leaf surfaces (phylloplane) of different plants in Portugal: Lalaria arrabidae sp. nov. (one strain), L. carpini sp. nov. (one strain), L. inositophila sp. nov. (37 strains), L. kurtzmanii sp. nov. (one strain) and L. veronaerambellii sp. nov. (four strains). L. inositophila was notable for its widespread occurrence since it was recovered during two consecutive years from the leaves of miscellaneous plant species. In the absence of sexual states and of unequivocal associations to particular host plants, the taxonomic relationship of the novel species to the yeast states of Taphrina available from culture collections was verified by the comparative analysis of physiological and molecular characteristics. The latter included PCR fingerprinting using single primers for microsatellite regions, sequencing of the 5′ end of the 26S rRNA (LSU) gene (D1/D2 domains) and of the ITS1 and ITS2 rDNA spacer regions, and DNA-DNA hybridisation experiments. An emended description of the genus Lalaria is provided.
- Molecular systematics
- Phylloplane yeast