Phyllosticta—an overview of current status of species recognition
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Phyllosticta is an important coelomycetous plant pathogenic genus known to cause leaf spots and various fruit diseases worldwide on a large range of hosts. Species recognition in Phyllosticta has historically been based on morphology, culture characters and host association. Although there have been several taxonomic revisions and enumerations of species, there is still considerable confusion when identifying taxa. Recent studies based on molecular data have resolved some cryptic species and some novel taxa have been discovered. However, compared to the wide species diversity and taxonomic records, there is a lack of molecular studies to resolve current names in the genus. A phylogenetic tree is here generated by combined gene analysis (ITS, partial actin and partial elongation factor 1α) using a selected set of taxa including type-derived sequences available in GenBank. Life modes, modal lifecycle and applications of the genus in biocontrol and metabolite production are also discussed. We present a selected set of taxa as an example of resolved and newly described species in the genus and these are annotated with host range, distribution, disease symptoms and notes of additional information with comments where future work is needed.