Genetic Diversity of the fusarium oxysporum complex isolated from the grassland biome of South Africa

Mudzuli Nephalela-Mavhunga, Grace T. Kwinda, Brett A. Summerell, Eduard Venter, Adriaana Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The genetic diversity of pathogenic members of the Fusarium oxysporum species complex (FOSC) has been intensively studied worldwide, yet strains occurring in native soils with low anthropogenic disturbance remain poorly understood. This study focused on 355 F. oxysporum isolates from soils with low anthropogenic activity obtained from the grassland biome of South Africa. Analysis of the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef-1a) gene revealed high levels of sequence type diversity within the soil population in comparison with the global dataset. Phylogenetic relationships of the South African isolates revealed that four nested within FOSC clade 1. This is the first report of members of the basal clade recovered from ecosystems with low anthropogenic disturbance from Sub-Saharan Africa. The remaining strains nested within clades 2 to 5. This study contributes significantly to our understanding of the distribution of the FOSC in natural systems as we show that FOSC populations in the South African grassland biome are genetically diverse. This fills in our knowledge gap because previous studies reported only on the occurrence and diversity of the FOSC isolated from plant debris in South Africa. This is the first comprehensive survey of fusaria from grassland soils with low anthropogenic disturbance in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1459-1469
Number of pages11
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Anthropogenic disturbance
  • Biodiversity
  • Fungal pathogens
  • Fusarium oxysporum
  • Genetics
  • Grassland biome
  • Molecular
  • Phylogeny
  • Population biology
  • Soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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