Submitted to: Taxon
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/25/2017
Publication Date: 6/23/2017
Citation: Rossman, A.Y., Allen, W.C., Castlebury, L.A., Spatafora, J., Romero, A.I., Verkeley, G. 2017. Proposals to conserve the names Balansia claviceps against Ephelis mexicana,……,and Tolypocladium inflatum against Cordyceps subsessilis (Ascomycota: Sordariomycetes: Hypocreales). Taxon. 66(3):749-750. doi: 10.12705/663.18. Interpretive Summary: Recent changes in the rules by which fungi are named have caused problems in knowing what to call some agriculturally or environmentally important fungi. Numerous papers have been published with recommendations on which name should be used for major groups of plant and insect pathogens but some individual species have been overlooked. In this paper all known information is used to decide the correct names for two fungal species infecting grasses and one species that infects insects and is also pharmaceutically important because it is the source of cyclosporin, the immunosuppresant drug that allows successful organ transplants. This work is significant because it will allow correct identification of these commonly occurring, economically important fungi. These results will be used by scientists and plant quarantine officials who need accurate scientific names to communicate about diseases caused by fungi.
Technical Abstract: In the course of updating the scientific names of plant-associated fungi in the U.S. National Fungus Collections Databases to conform with the requirement of one scientific name for each fungal species, several scientific names currently in use were identified that should be changed to the oldest epithet in the oldest generic name. However, the names of these economically important fungi are in such widespread use that to change them would be disruptive. These names are herein proposed for conservation, following Art. 14.2 of the International Code of Nomenclature. Balansia claviceps causes a disease referred to as false smut or flower blight and infects living inflorescences of grasses in tropical and subtropical regions producing alkaloids that provide protection to grasses. Ephelis mexicana Fr. ex Berk. has been used for the asexual morph of B. claviceps. At the species level, E. mexicana provides an older epithet for B. claviceps. Claviceps paspali causes an ergot disease of Paspalum that occurs throughout the world. Some authors regard C. deliquescens, based on Ustilagopsis deliquescens and C. rolfsii as synonyms of C. paspali. Because C. paspali and C. rolfsii were published in the same article, they had equal priority until Wolf & Wolf treated C. rolfsii as a synonym of C. paspali. Neither the generic name Ustilagopsis nor the species name U. deliquescens has been widely used, so these names should be rejected. Tolypocladium inflatum is a pharmaceutically important fungus because it is the source of cyclosporin, the immunosuppresant drug that allows successful organ transplants. Rather than place the older epithet of C. subsessilis in Tolypocladium, we propose the conservation of the well-known name T. inflatum for this fungus.