The 'species complex' issue in clinically relevant fungi: A case study in Scedosporium apiospermum

Min Chen, Jingsi Zeng, G Sybren De Hoog, Benjamin Stielow, A H G Gerrits Van Den Ende, Wanqing Liao, Michaela Lackner

    Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

    50 Citations (Scopus)


    The genus Scedosporium currently comprises six species, Scedosporium apiospermum, Scedosporium boydii, Pseudallescheria angusta, Scedosporium minutisporum, Scedosporium dehoogii, and Scedosporium aurantiacum, most of which can be distinguished with the primary fungal DNA barcode, the ITS1/2 region of the rDNA gene cluster. In the present study, four additional genetic loci were explored from a phylogenetic point of view enabling a barcoding approach based on K2P pairwise distances to resolve the taxa Scedosporium. We included partial γ-actin (ACT), β-tubulin (BT2), elongation factor 1α (TEF1), and the small ribosomal protein 60S L10 (L1) (RP60S). Phylogenetic inference of each marker individually showed that four out of six species within Scedosporium can be distinguished unambiguously, while strains of S. apiospermum, S. boydii, and P. angusta showed occasional recombination, and accordingly, no genealogical concordance between markers was obtainable. We defined S. apiospermum, S. boydii, and P. angusta as the 'S. apiospermum species complex' since observed differences were not consistent between lineages, and no clinical differences are known between entities within the complex. While BT2 revealed the best performance among the genetic loci tested at the lineage level, barcoding of the ITS region is sufficient for distinction of all entities in Scedosporium at the species or 'complex' level.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-46
    Number of pages10
    JournalFungal Biology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


    • ITS rDNA
    • Populations
    • Primary barcode
    • Secondary barcode


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