Division of Plant Pathology and Microbiology in Plant Sciences Department
Research project:

Systematic revision of the genus Alternaria and related taxa

Species of the fungus Alternaria are economically important in plant disease, food toxicology, medical mycology, and ecology, yet this large genus has not been comprehensively studied using modern systematics tools. A workable taxonomic system is critically needed that will ensure consistent and reliable identification of taxa and facilitate extended studies in comparative biology. Toward this end, the principal objectives of this proposal are to: 1) establish criteria for delimiting species within Alternaria based upon the determination of fixed autapomorphic characters, 2) resolve phylogenetic relationships among species based upon genealogical concordance of rDNA and protein-coding sequences across population and species sampling scales, and 3) evaluate and delineate morphological characters that critically define species validated by phylogenetic studies. Embedded within these objectives are the overarching goals of creating taxonomic keys based upon morphological characters for the identification of species that reflect the resolved phylogeny, and developing an on-line database for the dissemination of data generated from these and other related studies.

For more information:

Dr. Barry Pryor, bmpryor@u.arizona.edu

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