Three genera, Cochliobolus, Bipolaris and Curvularia form a complex that contains many plant pathogens, mostly on grasses (Poaceae) with a worldwide distribution. The taxonomy of this complex is confusing as frequent nomenclatural changes and refinements have occurred. There is no clear morphological boundary between the asexual genera Bipolaris and Curvularia, and some species show intermediate morphology. We investigated this complex based on a set of ex-type cultures and collections from northern Thailand. Combined gene analysis of rDNA ITS (internal transcribed spacer), GPDH (glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase), LSU (large subunit) and EF1-a (translation elongation factor 1-a) shows that this generic complex divides into two groups. Bipolaris and Cochliobolus species clustered in Group 1 along with their type species, whereas Curvularia species (including species named as Bipolaris, Cochliobolus and Curvularia) clustered in Group 2, with its generic type. The nomenclatural conflict in this complex is resolved giving priority to the more commonly used established generic names Bipolaris and Curvularia. Modern descriptions of the genera Bipolaris and Curvularia are provided and species resolved in this study are transferred to one of these genera based on their phylogeny.
- species concepts