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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Systematics and Diagnostics of Emerging and Quarantine-Significant Plant Pathogenic Fungi

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Title: Revised scientific names of the genus Hemileia (Uredinales) based on the new ICN

item Judith, Caroline
item Rossman, Amy

Submitted to: MycoKeys
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2013
Publication Date: 1/9/2014
Publication URL: http://10.3897/mycokeys.8.4040
Citation: Judith, C., Rossman, A.Y. 2014. Revised scientific names of the genus Hemileia (Uredinales) based on the new ICN. MycoKeys. 8:1-10. DOI: 10.3897/mycokeys.8.4040.

Interpretive Summary: Fungi are a group of organisms that cause billions of dollars damage each year to agricultural crops and forest resources. One group, the rust fungi, includes species that are parasitic on plants and cause serious diseases. Until recently, a single species of fungus could have two scientific names depending on whether the type specimen exhibited the sexual or the asexual state. This was changed so that only one scientific name is allowed. In this research the names for the species in a group of rust fungi were re-evaluated based on the new rules of nomenclature to determine which scientific names are correct. Out of the 42 names of species in the coffee rust genus, 26 names needed to be changed. Most importantly the scientific name of coffee rust remains the same, specifically Hemileia vastatrix. This research will be used by plant pathologists working on this group of parasitic fungi as well as plant quarantine officials who need to communicate about these disease-causing fungi.

Technical Abstract: In the new International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN), one species of fungus can have only one scientific name. The use of separate names for the sexual and asexual states is no longer permitted. All legitimate and validly published names for one species must be considered with priority given to the oldest species epithet. The elimination of dual nomenclature is particularly problematic for rust fungi. Many species were given scientific names in the appropriate genus but these names were later considered illegitimate because of the lack of teliospores. Once a specimen with teliospores was discovered, a new name with another type specimen was given for the species in the appropriate genus or, in some cases, the old name was considered to be validated by the species having teliospores. With the changes in the rules of the ICN, the scientific names of many rust fungi were re-evaluated with priority given to the oldest epithet for a species regardless of the genus in which it was described. In this paper a list of revised scientific names of species in the rust genus Hemileia is provided.Of the 42 names in the latest monograph, 26 names needed to be revised including five new combinations. The scientific name of the fungus that causes coffee rust, thankfully, remains unchanged as Hemileia vastatrix.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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