CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/ 15_003/0000453

Back to news

Delimiting species in Basidiomycota: a review

Bin Cao, Danny Haelewaters (UGent) , Nathan Schoutteten (UGent) , Dominik Begerow, Teun Boekhout, Admir J. Giachini, Sergio P. Gorjón, Nina Gunde-Cimerman, Kevin D. Hyde, Martin Kemler, Guo-Jie Li, Dong-Mei Liu, Xin-Zhan Liu, Jorinde Nuytinck (UGent) , Viktor Papp, Anton Savchenko, Kyryll Savchenko, Leho Tedersoo, Bart Theelen, Marco Thines, Michal Tomšovský, Merje Toome-Heller, Judith P. Urón, Annemieke Verbeken (UGent) , Alfredo Vizzini, Andrey M. Yurkov, Juan Carlos Zamora and Rui-Lin Zhao


Species delimitation is one of the most fundamental processes in biology. Biodiversity undertakings, for instance, require explicit species concepts and criteria for species delimitation in order to be relevant and translatable. However, a perfect species concept does not exist for Fungi. Here, we review the species concepts commonly used in Basidiomycota, the second largest phylum of Fungi that contains some of the best known species of mushrooms, rusts, smuts, and jelly fungi. In general, best practice is to delimitate species, publish new taxa, and conduct taxonomic revisions based on as many independent lines of evidence as possible, that is, by applying a so-called unifying (or integrative) conceptual framework. However, the types of data used vary considerably from group to group. For this reason we discuss the different classes of Basidiomycota, and for each provide: (i) a general introduction with difficulties faced in species recognition, (ii) species concepts and methods for species delimitation, and (iii) community recommendations and conclusions.

Link to publisher