Phylogenomic analysis of a 55.1-kb 19-gene dataset resolves a monophyletic fusarium that includes the fusarium solani species complex
Geiser, D.M., Al-Hatmi, A.M.S., Aoki, T., Arie, T., Balmas, V., Barnes, I., Bergstrom, G.C., Bhattacharyya, M.K., Blomquist, C.L., Bowden, R.L., Brankovics, B., Brown, D.W., Burgess, L.W., Bushley, K., Busman, M., Cano-Lira, J.F., Carrillo, J.D., Chang, H.X., Chen, C.Y., Chen, W., Chilvers, M., Chulze, S., Coleman, J.J., Cuomo, C.A., Wilhelm de Beer, Z., Sybren de Hoog, G., Castillo-Munera, J.D., Del Ponte, E.M., Dieguez-Uribeondo, J., Pietro, A.D., Edel-Hermann, V., Elmer, W.H., Epstein, L., Eskalen, A., Esposto, M.C., Everts, K.L., Fernandez-Pavıa, S.P., da Silva, G.F., Foroud, N.A., Fourie, G., Frandsen, R.J.N., Freeman, S., Freitag, M., Frenkel, O., Fuller, K.K., Gagkaeva, T., Gardiner, D.M., Glenn, A.E., Gold, S.E., Gordon, T.R., Gregory, N.F., Gryzenhout, M., Guarro, J., Gugino, B.K., Gutierrez, S., Hammond-Kosack, K.E., Harris, L.J., Homa, M., Hong, C.F., Hornok, L., Huang, J.W., Ilkit, M., Jacobs, A., Jacobs, K., Jiang, C., del Mar Jimenez-Gasco, M., Kang, S., Kasson, M.T., Kazan, K., Kennell, J.C., Kim, H.S., Corby Kistler, H., Kuldau, G.A., Kulik, T., Kurzai, O., Laraba, I., Laurence, M.H., Lee, T., Lee, Y.W., Lee, Y.H., Leslie, J.F., Liew, E.C.Y., Lofton, L.W., Logrieco, A.F., Lopez-Berges, M.S., Luque, A.G., Lysøe, E., Ma, L.J., Marra, R.E., Martin, F.N., May, S.R., McCormick, S.P., McGee, C., Meis, J.F., Migheli, Q., Mohamed Nor, N.M.I., Monod, M., Moretti, A., Mostert, D., Mule, G. (2021). Phylogenomic analysis of a 55.1-kb 19-gene dataset resolves a monophyletic fusarium that includes the fusarium solani species complex. Phytopathology, [online] 111(7), 1064-1079. http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-08-20-0330-LE
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.
Scientific communication is facilitated by a data-driven, scientifically sound taxonomy that considers the end-user’s needs and established successful practice. In 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 in 2015 by one research group who proposed dividing the genus Fusarium into seven genera, including the FSSC described as members of the genus Neocosmospora, with subsequent justification in 2018 based on claims that the 2013 concept of Fusarium is polyphyletic. 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 genus 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 described as genus Neocosmospora were recombined in genus 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.