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One Fungus, One Name: Defining the Genus Fusarium in a Scientifically Robust Way That Preserves Longstanding Use

May 2013 , Volume 103 , Number  5
Pages  400 - 408

David M. Geiser, Takayuki Aoki, Charles W. Bacon, Scott E. Baker, Madan K. Bhattacharyya, Mary E. Brandt, Daren W. Brown, Lester W. Burgess, Sofia Chulze, Jeffrey J. Coleman, James C. Correll, Sarah F. Covert, Pedro W. Crous, Christina A. Cuomo, G. Sybren De Hoog, Antonio Di Pietro, Wade H. Elmer, Lynn Epstein, Rasmus J. N. Frandsen, Stanley Freeman, Tatiana Gagkaeva, Anthony E. Glenn, Thomas R. Gordon, Nancy F. Gregory, Kim E. Hammond-Kosack, Linda E. Hanson, María del Mar Jímenez-Gasco, Seogchan Kang, H. Corby Kistler, Gretchen A. Kuldau, John F. Leslie, Antonio Logrieco, Guozhong Lu, Erik Lysøe, Li-Jun Ma, Susan P. McCormick, Quirico Migheli, Antonio Moretti, Françoise Munaut, Kerry O'Donnell, Ludwig Pfenning, Randy C. Ploetz, Robert H. Proctor, Stephen A. Rehner, Vincent A. R. G. Robert, Alejandro P. Rooney, Baharuddin bin Salleh, Maria Mercedes Scandiani, Jonathan Scauflaire, Dylan P. G. Short, Emma Steenkamp, Haruhisa Suga, Brett A. Summerell, Deanna A. Sutton, Ulf Thrane, Francis Trail, Anne Van Diepeningen, Hans D. VanEtten, Altus Viljoen, Cees Waalwijk, Todd J. Ward, Michael J. Wingfield, Jin-Rong Xu, Xiao-Bing Yang, Tapani Yli-Mattila, and Ning Zhang

First, twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth, and thirtieth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802; second author: National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Genetic Diversity Department, 2-1-2 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan; third and twenty-second authors: Toxicology and Mycotoxin Research, USDA-ARS-SAA, Athens, GA 30605-2720; fourth author: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352; fifth and sixty-fourth authors: Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011; sixth author: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333; seventh, thirty-sixth, fortieth, forty-third, forty-sixth, and sixty-first authors: NCAUR-ARS-USDA, Peoria, IL 61604; eighth author: Faculty of Agriculture, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; ninth author: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Universidad Nacional de Rio Cuarto, Rio Cuarto, Córdoba, Argentina; tenth author: Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114; eleventh author: Department of Plant Pathology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701; twelfth author: Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602; thirteenth, fifteenth, forty-fifth and fifty-seventh authors: CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Center, Utrecht, Netherlands; fourteenth author: Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142; sixteenth author: Departamento de Genética, Universidad de Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain; seventeenth author: Department of Plant Pathology, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT 06504; eighteenth and twenty-third authors: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616; nineteenth and fifty-fifth authors: Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark; twentieth author: Department of Plant Pathology and Weed Research, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel; twenty-first author: Laboratory of Mycology and Phytopathology, All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection, St. Petersburg-Pushkin, Russia 196608; twenty-fourth author: Department of Plant & Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716; twenty-fifth author: Centre for Sustainable Pest and Disease Management, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden AL5 2JQ, UK; twenty-sixth author: ARS-USDA Sugarbeet and Bean Research Unit, East Lansing, MI 48824; twenty-ninth author: ARS-USDA Cereal Disease Laboratory, St. Paul, MN 55108; thirty-first author: Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506; thirty-second and thirty-eighth authors: CNR (Research National Council), ISPA Institute of Sciences of Food Production, Bari, Italy; thirty-third author: Research Center for Bio-Resources and Environment, Dalian Nationalities University, Liaoning, P.R. China; thirty-fourth author: Department of Plant Health and Plant Protection, Bioforsk–Norwegian Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Research,1432 Ås, Norway; thirtyfifth author: Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003; thirty-seventh author: Dipartimento di Protezione delle Piante, Universita degli Studi di Sassari, Italy; thirty-ninth and forty-ninth authors: Universite Catholique de Louvain, Earth and Life Institute, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; forty-first author: Departamento de Fitopatologia, Universidade Federal de Lavras, MG, Brazil; forty-second author: Department of Plant Pathology, Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Homestead, FL 33031; forty-fourth author: Systematic Mycology and Microbiology Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD 20705; forty-seventh author: School of Biological Science, Science University of Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia; forty-eighth author: Laboratorio Agrícola Río Paraná, San Pedro, Buenos Aires, Argentina; fiftieth author: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, c/o U.S. Agricultural Research Station, Salinas, CA 93905; fifty-first and sixty-second authors: Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa; fifty-second author: Life Science Research Center, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan; fifty-third author: The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia; fifty-fourth author: Department of Pathology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 78229; fifty-sixth author: Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824-1312; fifty-eighth author: Division of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721; fifty-ninth author: Department of Plant Pathology, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa; sixtieth author: Plant Research International, Wageningen University and Research, P.O. Box 16, 6700 Wageningen, The Netherlands; sixty-third author: Department of Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907; sixty-fifth author: Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology, Department of Biology, University of Turku, FIN-20014 Turku, Finland; and sixty-sixth author: Department of Plant Biology & Pathology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

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Accepted for publication 12 November 2012.

In this letter, we advocate recognizing the genus Fusarium as the sole name for a group that includes virtually all Fusarium species of importance in plant pathology, mycotoxicology, medicine, and basic research. This phylogenetically guided circumscription will free scientists from any obligation to use other genus names, including teleomorphs, for species nested within this clade, and preserve the application of the name Fusarium in the way it has been used for almost a century. Due to recent changes in the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, this is an urgent matter that requires community attention. The alternative is to break the longstanding concept of Fusarium into nine or more genera, and remove important taxa such as those in the F. solani species complex from the genus, a move we believe is unnecessary. Here we present taxonomic and nomenclatural proposals that will preserve established research connections and facilitate communication within and between research communities, and at the same time support strong scientific principles and good taxonomic practice.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society