Epitypification of Fusarium oxysporum – clearing the taxonomic chaos
Fusarium oxysporum is the most economically important and commonly encountered species of Fusarium. This soil-borne fungus is known to harbour both pathogenic (plant, animal and human) and non-pathogenic strains. However, in its current concept F. oxysporum is a species complex consisting of numerous cryptic species. Identification and naming these cryptic species is complicated by multiple subspecific classification systems and the lack of living ex-type material to serve as basic reference point for phylogenetic inference. Therefore, to advance and stabilise the taxonomic position of F. oxysporum as a species and allow naming of the multiple cryptic species recognised in this species complex, an epitype is designated for F. oxysporum. Using multi-locus phylogenetic inference and subtle morphological differences with the newly established epitype of F. oxysporum as reference point, 15 cryptic taxa are resolved in this study and described as species.
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