Phylogenomic analysis of a 55.1 kb 19-gene dataset resolves a monophyletic Fusarium that includes the Fusarium solani Species Complex

Citation

Geiser DM, Al-Hatmi A, Aoki T, Arie T, et al. Phylogenomic analysis of a 55.1 kb 19-gene dataset resolves a monophyletic Fusarium that includes the Fusarium solani Species Complex. Phytopathology. on-line 2020 Nov 17.

Plain language summary

The purpose of taxonomy is to support clear scientific communication for international trade and agricultural biosecurity, pesticide and crop registration, and accurate identification and reporting of fungi responsible for plant, animal and human disease. In 2013, the Fusarium community voiced near unanimous support for the genus of Fusarium that represented a group of species comprising all agriculturally and clinically important Fusarium species, including the Fusarium solani Species Complex. Recently, this concept was challenged by one research group who proposed dividing Fusarium into seven genera, including the Fusarium solani Species Complex as the genus Neocosmospora, by suggesting that the group of fungi were descended from more than one ancestor. In this manuscript, the alignment of the 19 housekeeping gene sequences (extracted from the genome sequences of 89 Fusarium species) support that all of these species are descended from a common ancestor. This is consistent with the longstanding use of this name, Fusarium, among plant pathologists, medical mycologists, quarantine officials, regulatory agencies, students and others. In recognition of this common ancestry, the global Fusarium community of 168 researchers strongly support that 40 species recently described as Neocosmospora should be recombined into the Fusarium genus as the Fusarium solani Species Complex. Fusarium is one of the most commonly used fungal names in the scientific literature, so this practical consideration is essential due to the negative impact of disconnecting past, current and future uses of the name.

Abstract

Scientific communication is facilitated by a data-driven, scientifically sound taxonomy that considers the
end-user's needs and established successful practice. Previously (Geiser et al. 2013; Phytopathology
103:400-408. 2013), the Fusarium community voiced near unanimous support for a concept of Fusarium
that represented a clade comprising all agriculturally and clinically important Fusarium species, including
the F. solani Species Complex (FSSC). Subsequently, this concept was challenged by one research group
(Lombard et al. 2015 Studies in Mycology 80: 189-245) who proposed dividing Fusarium into seven
genera, including the FSSC as the genus Neocosmospora, with subsequent justification based on claims
that the Geiser et al. (2013) concept of Fusarium is polyphyletic (Sandoval-Denis et al. 2018; Persoonia
41:109-129). Here we test this claim, and provide a phylogeny based on exonic nucleotide sequences of
19 orthologous protein-coding genes that strongly support the monophyly of Fusarium including the
FSSC. We reassert the practical and scientific argument in support of a Fusarium that includes the FSSC
and several other basal lineages, consistent with the longstanding use of this name among plant
pathologists, medical mycologists, quarantine officials, regulatory agencies, students and researchers
with a stake in its taxonomy. In recognition of this monophyly, 40 species recently described as
Neocosmospora were recombined in Fusarium, and nine others were renamed Fusarium. Here the
global Fusarium community voices strong support for the inclusion of the FSSC in Fusarium, as it remains
the best scientific, nomenclatural and practical taxonomic option available.

Publication date

2020-11-17

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