Ascochyta koolunga ( Didymellaceae , Pleosporales ) was first described in 2009 (as Phoma koolunga ) and identified as the causal agent of Ascochyta blight of Pisum sativum (field pea) in South Australia. Since then A. koolunga has not been reported anywhere else in the world, and its origins and occurrence on other legume ( Fabaceae ) species remains unknown. Blight and leaf spot diseases of Australian native, pasture and naturalised legumes were studied to investigate a possible native origin of A. koolunga .
Ascochyta koolunga was not detected on native, naturalised or pasture legumes that had leaf spot symptoms, in any of the studied regions in southern Australia, and only one isolate was recovered from P. sativum . However, we isolated five novel species in the Didymellaceae from leaf spots of Australian native legumes from commercial field pea regions throughout southern Australia. The novel species were classified on the basis of morphology and phylogenetic analyses of the internal transcribed spacer region and part of the RNA polymerase II subunit B gene region. Three of these species, Nothophoma garlbiwalawarda sp. nov., Nothophoma naiawu sp. nov. and Nothophoma ngayawang sp. nov., were isolated from Senna artemisioides . The other species described here are Epicoccum djirangnandiri sp. nov. from Swainsona galegifolia and Neodidymelliopsis tinkyukuku sp. nov. from Hardenbergia violacea . In addition, we report three new host-pathogen associations in Australia, namely Didymella pinodes on S. artemisioides and Vicia cracca , and D. lethalis on Lathyrus tingitanus . This is also the first report of Didymella prosopidis in Australia.