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Epitypification and neotypification: guidelines with appropriate and inappropriate examples

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Abstract

A review of phylogenetic studies carried out together with morphological ones shows that a major problem with most early studies is that they concentrated on techniques and used material or strains of fungi that in most cases were not carefully reference, and in a worrying number of cases wrongly named. Most classical species, particularly of microfungi, are not represented by adequate type material, or other authoritatively identified cultures or specimens, that can serve as DNA sources for phylogenetic study, or for developing robust identification systems. Natural classifications of fungi therefore suffer from the lack of reference strains in resultant phylogenetic trees. In some cases, epitypification and neotypification can solve this problem and these tools are increasingly used to resolve taxonomic confusion and stabilize the understanding of species, genera, families, or orders of fungi. This manuscript discusses epitypification and neotypification, describes how to epitypify or neotypify species and examines the importance of this process. A set of guidelines for epitypification is presented. Examples where taxa have been epitypified are presented and the benefits and problems of epitypification are discussed. As examples of epitypification, or to provide reference specimens, a new epitype is designated for Paraphaeosphaeria michotii and reference specimens are provided for Astrosphaeriella stellata, A. bakeriana, Phaeosphaeria elongata, Ophiobolus cirsii, and O. erythrosporus. In this way we demonstrate how to epitypify taxa and its importance, and also illustrate the value of proposing reference specimens if epitypification is not advisable. Although we provided guidelines for epitypification, the decision to epitypify or not lies with the author, who should have experience of the fungus concerned. This responsibility is to be taken seriously, as once a later typification is made, it may not be possible to undo that, particularly in the case of epitypes, without using the lengthy and tedious formal conservation and rejection processes.

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Acknowledgments

K.D. Hyde thanks the Chinese Academy of Sciences, project number 2013T2S0030, for the award of Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists at Kunming Institute of Botany. J.C. Xu would like to thank Humidtropics, a CGIAR Research Program that aims to develop new opportunities for improved livelihoods in a sustainable environment, for partially funding this work. We would like to thank Plant Germplasm and Genomics Center in Germplasm Bank of Wild Species, Kunming Institute of Botany for the help of molecular work. H.A. Ariyawansa and J.C. Kang are grateful to the agricultural science and technology foundation of Guizhou province (Nos. NY[2013]3042), the international collaboration plan of Guizhou province (No. G [2012]7006) and the innovation team construction for science and technology of Guizhou province (No. [2012]4007) from the Science and Technology Department of Guizhou province, China. H.A. Ariyawansa is grateful to A.D Ariyawansa and D.M.K Ariyawansa for their valuable suggestions. This contribution was prepared while D.L.H. was in receipt of funding from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación project CGL2011-25003. MFLU grant number 56101020032 is thanked for supporting studies on Dothideomycetes. We are grateful to the Mushroom Research Foundation, Chiang Rai, Thailand.

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Ariyawansa, H.A., Hawksworth, D.L., Hyde, K.D. et al. Epitypification and neotypification: guidelines with appropriate and inappropriate examples. Fungal Diversity 69, 57–91 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13225-014-0315-4

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