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Research Thesis Topic

Taxonomy and Phylogeny of Australian Tar Spot Fungi

Topic ID

Thesis Topic/Title
Taxonomy and Phylogeny of Australian Tar Spot Fungi


The tar spot fungi (Phyllachora spp.) are foliar pathogens that typically produce shiny, raised, black spots on leaves of a diversity of agricultural and native host plants. Some examples of the tar spot fungi from Australia are P. musicola (the cause of black cross of banana) and P. sacchari (the cause of black leaf spot of sugarcane). The most recent taxonomic revision of the tar spot fungi in Australia (Pearce and Hyde, 2006) covered about 100 species using a traditional morphological approach. The Australian species of Phyllachora are in need of a modern molecular phylogenetic study as a basis for a revised taxonomic treatment. This study will use ITS sequences (the universal DNA barcode marker) to develop a phylogeny as a basis for a revised classification. It is expected that new species will be discovered, which will be molecularly characterized, morphologically described and formally named.

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Associate Supervisors

Research Affiliations
  • Centre for Crop Health

Field of Research
  • Crop and Pasture Production

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Pre-approved for Ethics
Not Applicable

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