Anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum lindemuthianum is an important disease of common bean, resulting in major economic losses worldwide. Genetic diversity of the C. lindemuthianum population contributes to its ability to adapt rapidly to new sources of host resistance. The origin of this diversity is unknown, but sexual recombination, via the Glomerella teleomorph, is one possibility. This study tested the hypothesis that Glomerella strains that are frequently recovered from bean anthracnose lesions represent the teleomorph of C. lindemuthianum. A large collection of Glomerella isolates could be separated into two groups based on phylogenetic analysis, morphology, and pathogenicity to beans. Both groups were unrelated to C. lindemuthianum. One group clustered with the C. gloeosporioides species complex and produced mild symptoms on bean tissues. The other group, which belonged to a clade that included the cucurbit anthracnose pathogen C. magna, caused no symptoms. Individual ascospores recovered from Glomerella perithecia gave rise to either fertile (perithecial) or infertile (conidial) colonies. Some pairings of perithecial and conidial strains resulted in induced homothallism in the conidial partner, while others led to apparent heterothallic matings. Pairings involving two perithecial, or two conidial, colonies produced neither outcome. Conidia efficiently formed conidial anastomosis tubes (CATs), but ascospores never formed CATs. The Glomerella strains formed appressoria and hyphae on the plant surface, but did not penetrate or form infection structures within the tissues. Their behavior was similar whether the beans were susceptible or resistant to anthracnose. These same Glomerella strains produced thick intracellular hyphae, and eventually acervuli, if host cell death was induced. When Glomerella was co-inoculated with C. lindemuthianum, it readily invaded anthracnose lesions. Thus, the hypothesis was not supported: Glomerella strains from anthracnose lesions do not represent the teleomorphic phase of C. lindemuthianum, and instead appear to be bean epiphytes that opportunistically invade and sporulate in the lesions.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Click here for a correction to the article.

Published in PLoS ONE, v. 9, issue 3, no. e90910.

© 2014 Barcelos et al.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Table_S1.docx (20 kB)
Table S1

Table_S2.docx (23 kB)
Table S2

File_S1.txt (33 kB)
File S1