Species delimitation in the African Armillaria complex by analysis of the ribosomal DNA spacers
Chillali, M and Idder-Inghili, H and Agustian, A and Guillaumin, JJ and Mohammed, CL and Botton, B, Species delimitation in the African Armillaria complex by analysis of the ribosomal DNA spacers , Journal of General and Applied Microbiology, 43, (1) pp. 23-29. ISSN 0022-1260 (1997) [Refereed Article]
Thirteen Armillaria isolates, collected from various geographical areas in tropical Africa and previously characterized by cultural morphology, pairing tests and isozyme analysis, were evaluated using the polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). DNA regions corresponding to the intergenic spacer (IGS) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) were amplified and analyzed by restriction enzyme digestion. The IGS amplification products were about 875 bp long and uniform in length among the isolates. The amplified-ITS region showed two different lengths corresponding to two groups. The first group included the isolates believed to belong to A. mellea ssp. africana and two Kenyan isolates (K11 and K12) belonging to a yet unnamed biological species. The second group included isolates identified as A. heimii and a Tanzanian isolate (T7). Each length variant of the lTS showed distinct RFLP banding patterns. Digestion with EcoRI confirmed the two polymorphic groups while the endonucleases Alul and Ndell discriminated the A. mellea isolates from the Kenyan isolates K11 and K12. In addition, the latter enzyme showed a slight dissimilarity between the A. heimii isolates from Western and Eastern Africa (C1 and Z1). Digestion with Hinfl cleaved the isolates of A. heimii into two sub-groups corresponding to the heterothallic and homothallic forms. This endonuclease also indicated that the isolate T7, originating from Tanzania, was clearly similar to the heterothallic species A. heimii. Data presented support the maintenance of three distinct species of Armillaria in tropical Africa with A. heimii as a variable species, the isolates of which were separated in accordance with their sexual system. The results indicate that PCR-RFLP can be used as a simple and speedy taxonomical tool for the ecological studies of Armillaria species.