An endophytic member of the genus Trichoderma was isolated from the root of a healthy 3-year-old Panax notoginseng in Yunnan province, PR China. The results of phylogenetic analyses based on a combined of ITS, tef1 and rpb2 indicated that this isolate was distinct from other species of the genus Trichoderma and closely related to Trichoderma songyi. It can be distinguished from T. songyi by its slower growth rates on PDA and colony morphology. The novel isolate formed conidia in thick white pustules scattered mostly at the margin. Its conidiophores tended to be regularly verticillium-like, little branched, sometimes substituted by phialides singly or in whorls. Conidia are smooth, mostly broadly subglobose to ellipsoidal. In combination with the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics, all data demonstrated that the fungus studied represented a unique and distinguishable novel species of the genus Trichoderma, for which the name Trichoderma panacis sp. nov. is proposed.
Keywords: ITS; Trichoderma; morphology; phylogeny; second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II; taxonomy; translation elongation factor 1-alpha.