Implications of the Holomorph Concept for Ascomycete Systematics

  • D. R. Reynolds
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 269)


The expectation for ascomycetous species expressed by de Bary in 1887 is still prevalent. A life cycle with morphological expression of the ascal stage was the norm. The mitotic fungus was considered as a sometimes more frequently expressed intermittant life cycle stage. The mitotic and meiotic species were acknowledged as rare and derived from the loss of a pleomorphous life cycle stage.

In a contemporary sense, the ascomycete species with a pleomorphic life cycle are fewer in number than those species that morphologically express only meiotic or only mitotic reproduction. Yet, the anamorph and the teleomorph stages of the pleomorphic species have a predictive role as indicators of phylogenetic trends that can provide a basis for a single system of classification.

The recognition of meiotic, mitotic and pleomorphic holomorphs in fungal systematics has both taxonomic and nomenclatural implications which are discussed with examples from the Capnodiaceae and Mycosphaerella.

The merger of mitotic and meiotic ascomycetes into a single system of classification is recommended as a specific goal for ascomycete systematics in the 1990s.


Sexual Reproduction American Phytopathological Society Commonwealth Mycological Institute Mitosporic Fungus Ascomycete Species 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. R. Reynolds
    • 1
  1. 1.Natural History Museum of Los Angeles CountyLos AngelesUSA

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