Four phylogenetic species of ergot from Canada and their characteristics in morphology, alkaloid production, and pathogenicity
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Four ergot species (Claviceps ripicola, C. quebecensis, C. perihumidiphila, and C. occidentalis) were recognized based on analyses of DNA sequences from multiple loci, including two housekeeping genes, RNA polymerase II second largest subunit (RPB2), and translation elongation factor 1-α (TEF1-α), and a single-copy ergot alkaloid synthesis gene (easE) encoding chanoclavine I synthase oxidoreductase. Morphological features, ergot alkaloid production, and pathogenicity on five common cereal crops of each species were evaluated and presented in taxonomic descriptions. A synoptic key was also provided for identification.