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POSTERS: Population biology and genetics

Diversity of Colletotrichum species on tea (Camellia sinensis) from three counties in Florida
James Orrock - University of Florida. Bala Rathinasabapathi- University of Florida, Brantlee Spakes Richter- University of Florida

Anthracnose is a devastating disease on tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze]. In the US, this disease has been associated with the pathogen Colletotrichum camelliae. No data currently exists on the species diversity of Colletotrichum on tea cultivated in Florida. We collected symptomatic leaves exhibiting typical anthracnose lesions from both field and nursery plants in three counties in Florida. Ten isolates were identified as Colletotrichum sp. based on microscopy and sequencing using the GS, GADPH, TUB2, and ApMat loci. A multi-gene phylogeny was constructed using sequences generated in this study and previously published sequences from Colletotrichum spp. isolated from tea and ornamental camellia. The Florida tea isolates cluster in two distinct clades. Our phylogeny also identified a second Colletotrichum species in the C. siamense complex as a potential causal agent of anthracnose on tea. The isolates collected from nursery and field grown plants in North Central Florida grouped with C. camelliae, but isolates from field grown tea plants in Central Florida clustered within the C. siamense complex. Our isolates in the C. camelliae clade were genetically similar to Chinese isolates collected from tea. Future research will require Koch’s postulates to be performed to confirm the pathogenicity of C. siamense on tea.