Two mating-type genes, designated MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1, were cloned and sequenced from the presumed asexual ascomycete Cladosporium fulvum (syn. Passalora fulva). The encoded products are highly homologous to mating-type proteins from members of the Mycosphaerellaceae, such as Mycosphaerella graminicola and Cercospora beticola. In addition, the two MAT idiomorphs of C. fulvum showed regions of homology and each contained one additional putative ORF without significant similarity to known sequences. The distribution of the two mating-type genes in a world-wide collection of 86 C. fulvum strains showed a departure from a 1:1 ratio (chi(2)=4.81, df=1). AFLP analysis revealed a high level of genotypic diversity, while strains of the fungus were identified with similar virulence spectra but distinct AFLP patterns and opposite mating-types. These features could suggest the occurrence of recombination in C. fulvum.