Cryptic species in the Neofusicoccum parvum–N. ribis species complex have only recently been described, invalidating previous interpretations on host and geographical distribution. This study aimed to characterize the diversity and distribution of these species and to understand the patterns of host association, likely origins and their patterns of spread.
Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Portugal, Puerto Rico, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Swaziland, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, United States of America, Uruguay, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Using the unique polymorphisms that separate species within the complex, we evaluated sequence search results available in public and in our own databases. In addition, the global distribution of diversity of N. parvum was analysed using seven microsatellite markers.
Neofusicoccum parvum is found in 90 hosts across six continents and 29 countries. Neofusicoccum kwambonambiense is found on four continents, six countries and on 14 hosts; N. occulatum is found on four continents, four countries and on 11 hosts; N. umdonicola is found on two continents, countries and hosts; N. cordaticola is found on three continents, countries and hosts; N. batangarum is found on two continents, three countries and three hosts; and N. ribis is found on one host in one country. Population genetic analysis of the global N. parvum population reflects admixture and repeat introductions.
This study illustrates the unfettered and frequent movement of latent pathogens across international borders. Amongst the species in the N. parvum–N. ribis complex, N. parvum is the most widespread and has been reported on the majority of the hosts studied. The current dispersal of N. parvum and its sister species is probably due to repeated introductions of plant material into new growing areas, with Eucalyptus and Vitis vinifera being two prominent candidates for material transfer.