Phylogenetic relatedness among Cladosporium leaf endophytes predicts their ability to reduce the severity of a poplar leaf rust disease

Edward Barge
More closely related organisms are expected to function more similarly than distantly related organisms due to shared ancestry and functional trait heritability. However, there have been few tests of this hypothesis for fungal leaf endophytes, which can modify host plant disease severity by a variety of mechanisms. We tested whether phylogenetic relatedness within Cladosporium, a genus including many common fungal leaf endophyte species, predicts endophyte effects on cottonwood leaf rust disease severity caused by Melampsora...
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