aba: fungi imperfecti

David Geiser dgeiser at mendel.berkeley.edu
Wed Feb 7 12:40:04 EST 1996


In article <4f8g51$7qo at vixen.cso.uiuc.edu> Eric Grunden,
egrunden at prairienet.org writes:

>Why not just give it ONE name, and describe all of its known
>states? Two names is misleading and confusing. If a fungus
>has no known sexual state, just give it a name and say ;
>"no known sexual state" or "sexual state unobserved as yet"
>or something like that.

Isn't that exactly what we're doing by having the Deuteromycetes?
The only problem is that the Deuteromycetes is not a phylogenetically-
defined group.  Some people would argue that this is not a problem
at all.  Making it a phylogenetically well-defined group (by moving
everything to sexual groups) is difficult and will take a lot of
time and resources.

 If both states have been observed
>call it X and describe its perfect and imperfect states.
>To lump fungi as different as asco's and basidio's together
>under one classification, just because we haven't seen their
>sexual states, is silly.

So what do you suggest?  Moving asexual taxa into sexual taxonomic 
groups is messy.  If we were to move an asexual Aspergillus species
to the ascomycetes,  the  rules would require that the asexual name 
be more or less made secondary,  and that it would have to adopt
a sexual name such as Emericella or Eurotium.  As someone who works
on asexual Aspergilli,  I hate this idea.  Dealing with the dual
nomenclature is a lot easier than would be having the name A. flavus
changed to Nihilcleista flavioides or something like that. 

So why not make Aspergillus an ascomycete name?  No good reason
not to,  except that the rules don't allow it,  and the rules are
hard to change.

 Come on, let's all take a stand and
>refuse to recognize the deuteromycetes. There are no such things...

So go ahead and take a stand.  Just keep in mind that one can recognize 
a taxonomic group  as artificial (not phylogenetically real) and at 
the same time accept its existence.

I would like to see no deuteromycetes myself,  but I fear the effects
of the change more than the discomfort of having a somewhat confusing
system of dual nomenclature.


Dave Geiser



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