Submitted to: International Congress of Mycology Proceedings and Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 2, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Species of Fusarium are best known as mycotoxigenic phytopathogens. Traditionally mycotoxicologists, mycologists and plant pathologists have had to rely on morphology alone to identify important toxigenic and pathogenic isolates, including those from clinical sources. Due to the paucity of phenotypic traits, currently published taxonomies greatly underestimate the number of Fusarium species. This is especially true of clinically important isolates since most of these fall within one of two large species complexes, F. solani [O'Donnell. Mycologia. 2000] and F. oxysporum [O'Donnell et al. PNAS. 1998]. To address this problem, genealogies are being constructed from DNA sequences of several nuclear protein coding genes to investigate the species boundaries of all fusaria using Genealogical Concordance Phylogenetic Species Recognition [Taylor et al. FGB. 2000]. The comprehensive, electronically portable multiallelic Fusarium DNA sequence database under construction in the ARS Culture Collection [NRRL, Peoria, IL, USA] currently provides the only means by which all clinically important species can be identified rapidly and accurately. Accurate knowledge of species limits may prove to be a critical component of therapy since species may respond differently to antifungal drugs.