Genetic and morphological characterization of Cladobotryum species causing cobweb disease of mushrooms

G J McKay, D Egan, E Morris, C Scott, A E Brown

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53 Citations (Scopus)


Cladobotryum dendroides (= Dactylium dendroides) has hitherto been regarded as the major causal agent of cobweb disease of the cultivated mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. Nucleotide sequence data for the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of four Cladobotryum/Hypomyces species reported to be associated with cobweb disease, however, indicate that the most common pathogen is now C. mycophilum. This cobweb pathogen varies somewhat in conidial septation from published descriptions of C. mycophilum and lacks the distinctive colony odor. ITS sequencing revealed minor nucleotide variation which split isolates of the pathogen into three subgroups, two comprising isolates that were sensitive to methylbenzimidazole carbamate (MBC) fungicides and one comprising MBC-resistant isolates. The MBC-resistant isolates, which were only obtained from Ireland and Great Britain, clustered together strongly in randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) PCR analysis, suggesting that they may be clonal. The MBC-sensitive isolates were more diverse. A RAPD fragment of 800 to 900 bp, containing a microsatellite and found in the MBC-resistant isolates, also indicated their clonal nature; the microsatellites of these isolates contained the same number of GA repeats. Smaller, polymorphic microsatellites, similarly comprising GA repeats, in the MBC-sensitive isolates in general correlated with their geographic origin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-10
Number of pages5
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1999


  • Agaricus
  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Hypocreales
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Technique


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