Microbotryum violaceum is a basidiomycete that infects the anthers of its Caryophyllaceae host species. Individual fungal isolates are host limited, though they are not morphologically distinct. This study used variable regions of the highly conserved gamma-tubulin, beta-tubulin, and ribosomal RNA-encoding genes to determine the relationships among M. violaceum fungal isolates from different host species and different geographical locations. Phylogenetic trees from intron nucleotide sequences in two protein-coding genes were compared to trees produced from internal transcribed spacers (ITS) of rDNA. Phylogenetic analyses suggested that there are two clades, one from North America and one from Europe. Isolates from both clades grouped according to host species, although in some analyses isolates from closely related host species were placed together. These results are consistent with the view that M. violaceum has experienced cospeciation with its hosts.
2002 Elsevier Science (USA).