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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Curation of the U.S. National Fungus Collections and Associated Information Resources

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Title: Impacts of the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants (Melbourne Code) on the scientific names of plant pathogenic fungi

item Zhang, Ning
item Rossman, Amy
item Seifert, Keith
item Bennett, Joan
item Cai, Guohong
item Hillman, Bradley
item Luo, Jing
item Meyer, William
item Molnar, Thomas
item Tacych, Mariusz
item White, Jame
item Cai, Lei
item Manamgoda, Dimuthu
item Schoch, Conrad

Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/31/2013
Publication Date: 6/17/2013
Citation: Zhang, N., Rossman, A.Y., Seifert, K., Bennett, J.W., Cai, G., Hillman, B., Luo, J., Meyer, W., Molnar, T., Tacych, M., White, J., Cai, L., Manamgoda, D., Schoch, C. 2013. Impacts of the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants (Melbourne Code) on the scientific names of plant pathogenic fungi. American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/APSnetFeatures–2013-0617.

Interpretive Summary: Communication about fungi occurs primarily through the use of scientific names thus accurate scientific names are essential for discussing the control of fungal diseases or preventing the entry of invasive fungi into the U.S. Until recently two scientific names could be applied to one species of fungus depending on whether the sexual or asexual state was present. This was confusing. The rules for naming fungi have recently been changed to allow only one scientific name for each species. In this review paper the names for a number of common plant pathogenic fungi are reviewed with an explanation of which name will be used for species for which there have been two names. Plant pathologists, plant quarantine officials, and scientists who are concerned with plant pathogenic fungi will use this paper to understand the new system of using one scientific name for plant pathogenic fungi.

Technical Abstract: Recent changes in the new International Code of Nomenclature (ICN) for algae, fungi and plants require that only one name be used for pleomorphic fungi many of which have two or more scientific names at present. It is necessary to decide which of two competing scientific names will be applied to one species of plant pathogenic fungus. Examples of important plant pathogenic fungi are presented for which integration of scientific names has been initiated. These represent different scenarios and demonstrate the range of issues that are being encountered in fulfilling this initiative. The examples include Aspergillus, Penicillium and Talaromyces (Eurotiomycetes, Eurotiales) that are well-known mould genera in plant pathology. Lists of scientific names of these genera have been developed, approved, and are periodically updated. The asexual genus Colletotrichum contains many well-known plant pathogens that cause anthracnose and black spot diseases on economic crops and ornamental plants. For the genus a list of accepted names is in progress. Names in Glomerella will be considered synonyms. For the genus Epichloë the names of the asexual states will be abandoned. The genera Bipolaris and Cochliobolus are fungi with species that cause diseases of economically important grass crops. Bipolaris competes with the sexual state name Cochliobolus but will be proposed for protection to ensure that few name changes will be needed. Likewise, the genus Nectria will be protected against Tubercularia requiring only three name changes. Because the genus Neonectria is well-circumscribed and includes a number of plant pathogenic species, this name will be protected against Cylindrocarpon. Discussion is continuing on the use of Pyricularia for the rice blast fungus. This case is complicated because the genus Magnaporthe is not a synonym of Pyricularia. One argument against conserving the name Magnaporthe with a new type species over Pyricularia is the excessive number of name changes that would be required for those species currently placed in Pyricularia. A discussion and poll are ongoing regarding which name to suggest/reject for the rice blast fungus. As scientific names of plant pathogenic fungi are integrated, lists of accepted names will be published. The accurate scientific names will be placed on websites such as the USDA-ARS SMML Fungi and MycoBank.

Last Modified: 10/15/2017
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