Molecular-based identification and phylogeny of Armillaria species from Serbia and Montenegro
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Armillaria causes problems of root rot, kill trees and decay wood in the forests of Serbia and Montenegro, but the species involved have not hitherto been identified. The aim of this study was to identify field isolates collected on 25 localities. Identification was based on restriction fragment length polymorphism ( RFLP) analysis of intergenic spacer 1 (IGS1) region and comparisons of IGS1 sequence with those available on NCBI database. Phylogenetic analysis was performed on sequence information from selected isolates to determine possible interrelationships between isolates with different banding patterns and previously identified tester isolates of five European Armillaria species. Five Armillaria species were identified in 90 isolates obtained from forests in Serbia and Montenegro. Armillaria gallica was most frequently isolated, followed by A. cepistipes, A. mellea, A. ostoyae and A. tabescens; two isolates remained unidentified. Restriction digestion of IGS1 amplification products with AluI produced 10 RFLP patterns. Patterns G4 ( 400, 250, 180) for A. gallica and pattern X ( 400, 180, 140) for isolates 74 and 79 are reported for the first time in European isolates. Eight RFLP patterns were observed after restriction with TaqI. Two patterns each were observed for A. ostoyae and A. gallica, and one each for A. cepistipes, A. mellea, A. tabescens and isolates 74 and 79. Parsimony analyses based on the IGS1 region placed the isolates into four clades: one including A. mellea, the second containing A. gallica-A. cepistipes isolates, while isolates of A. ostoyae and A. borealis were in the third clade. Armillaria tabescens differed from all annulate species. Phylogenetic analysis supported the conclusion that European Armillaria species are closely related and separated from a common ancestor in the near past. According to this survey five European Armillaria species are present in the forests of Serbia and Montenegro, while A. borealis is not present in the studied ecosystems.