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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #296350

Research Project: Control of Toxic Endophytic Fungi with Bacterial Endophytes and Regulation of Bacterial Metabolites for Novel Uses in Food Safety

Location: Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research

Title: Nomenclatural realignment of Neotyphodium species with genus Epichloe

item Leuchtmann, Adrian - Swiss Federal Institute Of Technology Zurich
item Bacon, Charles
item Schardl, Christopher - University Of Kentucky
item White, Jr., James - Rutgers University
item Tadych, Mariusz - Rutgers University

Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2013
Publication Date: 3/1/2014
Citation: Leuchtmann, A., Bacon, C.W., Schardl, C.L., White, Jr., J.F., Tadych, M. 2014. Nomenclatural realignment of Neotyphodium species with genus Epichloe. Mycologia. 106(2):202-215.

Interpretive Summary: Fungi are very versatile organisms, and the versatility is expressed during its reproductive cycles. Some fungi process sexual and asexual stages. These stages are expressed both temporal and spatially, and each may not resemble the other especially if morphological descriptions are used to separate species. Such dimorphic fungi were oftentimes discovered and named without the knowledge of such relationships resulting in one fungus with two names. An important group of fungi has these designations, and examples are the endophytes of grasses that confer important ecological advantages on the grass host. The asexual state for the endophytes of certain grasses is Neotyphodium, while the sexual state is referred to as Epichloe. This duality is a consistent feature although it can at times create problems relative to the identity of the fungus particularly to the novice. However, the international rules for naming fungi, algae and other plants were changed in 2011 requiring only one name for each organism. This is referred to as the one-name, one-fungus rule. In this manuscript, we reexamined all species of grass endophytes within the Epichloe/Neotyphodium group and proposed a new combination and state for each. We developed our new concept on mating compatibility, and molecular analyses, which is now routinely used to analyze species. Based on the principle of priority of publication we have selected Epichloe as the correct genus for classification of all species of the group even if the Epichloe state is never produced as in several forage species such as tall fescue. In this study, we accept 43 unique species of Epichloe, while excluding the names Neotyphodium. Thus, this group is compliant with modern taxonomic principles. We feel that this realignment will facilitate ease in identifying species within the group that will assist in future studies devoted to applications of endophytes as vectors for plant growth, defensive enhancement genes, and other traits for increasing the uses of plants.

Technical Abstract: Nomenclatural rule changes in the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants made at the 18th International Botanical Congress in Melbourne, Australia in 2011 require that a single name is used for all fungi. Since the anamorphic stages of Epichloë species have been classified in genus Neotyphodium a reorganization of the taxonomy of this group of endophytes is necessary. Based on the principle of priority of publication we have selected Epichloë to be the correct genus for classification of the group. We reexamined classification of several species or varieties within the Epichloë/Neotyphodium group and proposed new combinations and states. In this treatment, we accept 43 unique taxa in Epichloë, including distinct species, subspecies, or varieties. We excluded two taxa from Epichloë, including Neotyphodium starrii as nomen dubium and Neotyphodium chilense as an unrelated taxon.