Mycosphaerellaceae – Chaos or clarity?

S.I.R. Videira, J.Z. Groenewald, C. Nakashima, U. Braun, Robert W. Barreto, Pierre J. G. M. de Wit, P.W. Crous

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

151 Citations (Scopus)


The Mycosphaerellaceae represent thousands of fungal species that are associated with diseases on a wide range of plant hosts. Understanding and stabilising the taxonomy of genera and species of Mycosphaerellaceae is therefore of the utmost importance given their impact on agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Based on previous molecular studies, several phylogenetic and morphologically distinct genera within the Mycosphaerellaceae have been delimited. In this study a multigene phylogenetic analysis (LSU, ITS and rpb2) was performed based on 415 isolates representing 297 taxa and incorporating ex-type strains where available. The main aim of this study was to resolve the phylogenetic relationships among the genera currently recognised within the family, and to clarify the position of the cercosporoid fungi among them. Based on these results many well-known genera are shown to be paraphyletic, with several synapomorphic characters that have evolved more than once within the family. As a consequence, several old generic names including Cercosporidium, Fulvia, Mycovellosiella, Phaeoramularia and Raghnildiana are resurrected, and 32 additional genera are described as new. Based on phylogenetic data 120 genera are now accepted within the family, but many currently accepted cercosporoid genera still remain unresolved pending fresh collections and DNA data. The present study provides a phylogenetic framework for future taxonomic work within the Mycosphaerellaceae.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257 - 421
JournalStudies in Mycology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Multi-gene phylogeny
  • Plant pathogen
  • Taxonomy


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