USJ and USDA-ARS collaborative research team discovered new Pathogenic Fungal species

Three new fungal species were discovered of the genus Curvularia namely; Curvularia eleusinicola, C. panici-maximi and C. simmonsii from Sri Lanka. The fungal species were collected from Polonnaruwa, Gampaha and Colombo districts respectively. Species of this dematiaceous hyphomycetous fungal genus, mainly encountered as phytopathogens, saprobes, epiphytes and endophytes associated with cereal crops and their wild relatives in the family Poaceae. The findings of this study highlight the importance of further studies regarding tropical species of hyphomycetous fungi associated with cereals, fibre crops and weeds in order to support effective disease management and ensure food security by exploring undiscovered diversity within the country.

The research was a collaborative effort of Ms. Himashi Ferdinandez, Dr. Dimuthu S. Manamgoda, Dr. Mayuri Munasinghe, Prof. Nelum Deshappriya of the Department of Botany and Dr. Dhanushka Udayanga of Department of Biosystems technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura and Dr. Lisa A Castlebury of United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Services, Beltsville, Maryland, USA. Research work was carried at the Department of Botany and Department of Biosystems Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. This project mainly funded by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura for Research Grant ASP/01/RE/SCI/2018/036.

Publication details : Ferdinandez, H.S., Manamgoda, D.S., Udayanga, D. et al. Molecular phylogeny and morphology reveal three novel species of Curvularia (Pleosporales, Pleosporaceae) associated with cereal crops and weedy grass hosts. Mycol Progress 20, 431–451 (2021).

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