Coniella sp v1.0
Coniella sp. nov. A) Culture on potato dextrose agar, B) Conidioma on agar supplemented with Miscanthu sp., C) Cross section of conidioma, D) Conidiogenous cells with conidia, D) Mature conidia. Scale bars: B=175µm, C=60µm, and D,E=10µm.  Photographs: Daniel Raudabaugh and Teresa Iturriaga
Coniella sp. nov. A) Culture on potato dextrose agar, B) Conidioma on agar supplemented with Miscanthu sp., C) Cross section of conidioma, D) Conidiogenous cells with conidia, D) Mature conidia. Scale bars: B=175µm, C=60µm, and D,E=10µm. Photographs: Daniel Raudabaugh and Teresa Iturriaga

The family Schizoparmeaceae (Diaporthales) was erected by Rossman et al. (2007) and is known to contain several agriculturally important pathogenic species. Historically, this family included three genera: Schizoparme (sexual morph) and Coniella and Pilidiella (asexual morphs). This family has recently been re-evaluated by Alvarez et al. (2016). They provided an in-depth, historical analysis for each genus and resolved the classification through a five gene phylogenetic analysis combined with morphological observations. Importantly, they concluded that Coniella and Pilidiella were taxonomic synonyms with the oldest anamorphic name Coniella having precedence over the name of the asexual morph Pilidiella.

Many Coniella species are large scale plant pathogens of economically valuable agricultural crops. Coniella granati (Sacc.) Petr. & Syd. infects Punica granatum L. (pomegranate) causing crown rot, fruit rot, and shoot blight in many countries including China, Greece, Iran, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and in the state of California in the United States. Coniella diplodiella (Speg.) Petr. & Syd. cause white rot of Vitis vinifera L. (wine grape) with up to 20-80% crop loss. In addition, Coniella species are known pathogens of Fragaria L. (strawberry) with C. castaneicola (Ellis & Everh.) B. Sutton causing fruit rot, and C. fragariae (Oudem.) B. Sutton causing leaf diseases.

The genome of this fen-inhabiting species was sequenced with the hope that it will provide future insight into its enzymatic potential, ecological role, and be of value as a comparison to other Coniella species infecting economically valuable agricultural crops.

References:

Alvarez, L. V., Groenewald, J. Z., and Crous, P. W. 2016. Revising the Schizoparmaceae: Coniella and its synonyms Pilidiella and Schizoparme. Stud. Mycol. 85:1-34.

Rossman, A. Y., Farr, D. F., and Castlebury, L. A. 2007. A review of the phylogeny and biology of the Diaporthales. Mycoscience 48:134-144.