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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Morphological and Molecular Perspectives on Systematics of the Hypocreales

Author
item Vacant, Rl,

Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 27, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The development of management strategies to control crop diseases and use as biological control agents as well as the search for more effective pharmaceuticals are hindered by lack of knowledge about the relationships among fungi in the ascomycetes order, Hypocreales. Fungi belonging to this order are important to agricultural as both plant pathogens and as agents of biological control. Phylogenetic relationships among species in the Hypocreales were evaluated based on results of several molecular and morphological studies. This paper presents an overview of the characteristics of these fungi including those that are known primarily as asexually reproducing fungi. These results will be useful to extension agents, plant breeders, and other agricultural scientists who need to identify these fungi as well as to scientists working on the development of these strains as agents of biological control.

Technical Abstract: The ascomycetous order Hypocreales and its anamorphs include fungi of economic importance ranging from virulent plant pathogens to effective agents of biological control, and from producers of powerful antibiotics to the sources of potent mycotoxins. In the last twenty years progress toward understanding the systematics of the Hypocreales has been made primarily through descriptive accounts of species within the complexes centered around the genera Hypocrea, Hypomyces and Nectria. Through a re-examination of type specimens, the number of genera in the Hypocreales has been reduced from over 200 to about 80. Careful study of hypocrealean fungi has revealed relationships among species that are based on studies of correlated characters including those of the anamorph. These serve as the basis for newly revised generic concepts, particularly for those species previously classified as Nectria sensu lato. Recent molecular studies have supported these generic concepts and presented new insights into traditional concepts of the order. Integration of teleomorph-anamorph taxa may be possible by combining results of morphological and molecular data.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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