This study was conducted to identify the species of Colletotrichum infecting tamarillo, mango, and passiflora in Colombia and to assess whether cross-infection between host species is occurring. Isolates of Colletotrichum spp. from tamarillo (n = 54), passiflora (n = 26), and mango (n = 15) were characterized by various molecular methods and by morphological criteria. Morphological characterization grouped the tamarillo isolates as C. acutatum and the passiflora and mango isolates as C. gloeosporioides. Species-specific primer analysis was reliable and confirmed grouping of the tamarillo isolates (besides Tom-6) as C. acutatum and the mango isolates (besides Man-76) as C. gloeosporioides. However, DNA of the passiflora isolates was not amplified by either C. acutatum- or C. gloeosporioides-specific primers, but reacted with a new primer, Col1, designed according to the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) 1 region of these isolates. Isolates Tom-6 and Man-76 also reacted positively with the Col1 primer. All the isolates reacting with the C. acutatum- and C. gloeosporioides-specific primers failed to react with primer Col1. Isolate Pass-35 from passiflora did not react with any of the taxon-specific primers. Arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction (ap-PCR), random amplified polymerase DNA (RAPD)-PCR, and A+T-rich DNA analyses delineated representative isolates into subgroups within the designated species. Molecular analyses indicated that the C. acutatum tamarillo isolates were uniform or clonal, whereas the C. gloeosporioides mango isolates and Colletotrichum passiflora isolates were heterogeneous. Likewise, sequence analysis of the complete ITS (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2) region identified certain isolates to their respective species: tamarillo isolates as C. acutatum; mango isolates as C. gloeosporioides; passiflora, Tom-6, and Man-76 isolates as a Colletotrichum sp. as yet undefined; and the Pass-35 isolate as an additional undefined Colletot-richum sp. Molecular analyses of the population of Colletotrichum isolates from passiflora, Tom-6 from tamarillo, and Man-76 from mango indicate that this population may not be host specific.
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