Submitted to: Taxon
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 27, 2010
Publication Date: January 6, 2011
Citation: Minnis, A., Rehner, S.A., Humber, R.A. 2011. Proposal to conserve the name Botrytis brongniartii (Beauveria brongniartii) with a conserved type (Ascomycota). Taxon. 60:233.
Interpretive Summary: Fungi are often used to control insect pests of crop plants. Recently one of the fungi most commonly used in insect pest control was determined to be named incorrectly. Because an accurate scientific name is essential for communicating about this fungus such as in patents and labelling this pesticide product, a paper was written that proposes to conserve the correct name for this fungus. This proposal will be considered by a Nomenclature Committee of the International Society of Plant Taxonomy to determine if the name of this fungus can be conserved in the sense that is used most commonly. This research will be used by insect pathologists to determine the correct scientific name of this insect-killing fungus.
Beauveria is a fungal genus that includes insect pathogens. In the revision of the genus Beauveria brongniartii was determined to be the correct name for a species with ellipsoid conidia that is found commonly on beetles. Since then, the application of this name has become restricted to a species with a narrow host range of Coleoptera, and several patented products and studies have addressed its use in the biological control of beetles, especially Melolontha melolontha, the European cockchafer. Recently, we undertook a multigene phylogenetic study of Beauveria with the intention of providing further clarification of taxonomic concepts and nomenclatural stability. Although we found evidence that Beauveria brongniartii as currently applied inhabits hosts outside of Coleoptera, there was no evidence that this species inhabits Orthoptera. Furthermore, a sister clade with similar morphology based on Australian isolates from hosts in Acrididae, Orthoptera, represents a species distinct from Beauveria brongniartii as it is currently applied. This is problematic since the current widely used and economically important application of Beauveria brongniartii as a primarily beetle-inhabiting species may be incorrect. Under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, Beauveria brongniartii should be typified by an element that is not in conflict with the protologue. Since it is desirable to maintain current usage of Beauveria brongniartii, this species should be typified by an element isolated from a beetle such as Melolontha in Europe. Conservation with the type proposed here would ensure current usage of a name that is widely used in literature.