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Botryosphaeriaceae diversity on Acacia koa and A. heterophylla in Reunion and Hawaiian Islands

Fahimeh Jami: Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria

<div><em>Acacia koa </em>and<em> A. heterophylla</em> are commonly occurring native trees on the islands of Hawaii and Reunion, respectively. A recent study suggested that these trees are the same species, separated geographically for more than 1.4 million years. An intriguing question is whether their microbiota is the same, although, they are growing in two different geographical locations. In this study we compared fungi in the Botryosphaeriaceae from these trees. Isolates were identified based on comparisons of sequence data for the rDNA-ITS, LSU, TEF1-α and β-tubulin loci. In total, ten Botryosphaeriaceae species were identified of which five species were specific to samples from Hawaii and four species to Reunion, with one species common to both islands. The common species, <em>Neofusicoccum</em> <em>parvum</em>, is known to have a wide global distribution and the overall results suggest that <em>A. koa</em> and <em>A. heterophylla</em> have unique fungal biota in the areas where they occur naturally. Although the trees are genetically very similar (<em>A. heterophylla</em> renders <em>A. koa</em> paraphyletic), the results of this preliminary study suggest that they have established unique and independent microbiota.</div>