One Fungus, One Name: Defining the genus Fusarium in a scientifically robust way that preserves longstanding use
Phytopathology | 6 Feb 2013
DM Geiser, T Aoki, CW Bacon, SE Baker, MK Bhattacharyya, ME Brandt, DW Brown, LW Burgess, SN Chulze, JJ Coleman, JC Correll, S Covert, PW Crous, CA Cuomo, GS de Hoog, A Di Pietro, WH Elmer, L Epstein, RJ Frandsen, S Freeman, T Gagkaeva, AE Glenn, T Gordon, NF Gregory, K Hammond-Kosack, L Hanson, MD Jiménez-Gasco, S Kang, HC Kistler, GA Kuldau, JF Leslie, A Logrieco, G Lü, E Lysøe, LJ Ma, S McCormick, Q Migheli, A Moretti, F Munaut, K O'Donnell, LH Pfenning, R Ploetz, R Proctor, SA Rehner, VA Robert, AP Rooney, B Salleh, MM Scandiani, J Scauflaire, DP Short, E Steenkamp, H Suga, BA Summerell, DA Sutton, U Thrane, F Trail, A van Diepeningen, H Vanetten, A Viljoen, C Waalwijk, T Ward, MJ Wingfield, JR Xu, XB Yang, T Yli-Matilla and N Zhang
In this letter, we advocate recognizing the genus Fusarium as the sole name for a group that includes virtually all Fusarium species of importance in plant pathology, mycotoxicology, medicine and basic research. This phylogenetically-guided circumscription will free scientists from any obligation to use other genus names, including teleomorphs, for species nested within this clade, and preserve the application of the name Fusarium in the way it has been used for close to a century. Due to recent changes in the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants (16), this is an urgent matter that requires community attention. The alternative is to break the longstanding concept of Fusarium into nine or more genera, and remove important taxa such as those in the F. solani species complex from the genus, a move we find unnecessary. Here we argue that our proposal will preserve established research connections and facilitate communication within and between research communities, and at the same time support strong scientific principles and good taxonomic practice.
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