The identification and proper naming of microfungi, in particular plant, animal and human pathogens, remains challenging. Molecular identification is becoming the default approach for many fungal groups, and environmental metabarcoding is contributing an increasing amount of sequence data documenting fungal diversity on a global scale. This includes lineages represented only by sequence data. At present, these taxa cannot be formally described under the current nomenclature rules. By considering approaches used in bacterial taxonomy, we propose solutions for the nomenclature of taxa known only from sequences to facilitate consistent reporting and communication in the literature and public sequence repositories.
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Work by C.L.S. and B.R. was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. D.M.G. received support through the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant DEB-1655980 and Project 4655 of the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Experiment Station. E.M. acknowledges CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, Brazil) and FACEPE (Fundação de Amparo à Ciência e Tecnologia de Pernambuco, Brazil). K.D.H. thanks the Thailand Research Fund, grant RDG6130001, entitled “Impact of Climate Change on Fungal Diversity and Biogeography in the Greater Mekong Subregion”. The USDA Hatch project 1010662 is acknowledged for support to M.C.A. M.Ö. was supported by the European Regional Development Fund (Centre of Excellence EcolChange). M.T. acknowledges LOEWE for funding in the framework of the Centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics (TBG) and the German Science Foundation. N.Z. acknowledges the NSF of the United States (DEB-1452971). P.R.J. was supported through the Manaaki Whenua Biota Portfolio with funding from the Science and Innovation Group of the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. R.J. thanks the University of Mauritius for research support. We thank S. Redhead for nomenclatural advice. R. Sanders provided the update for the fungal ITS data in the SRA.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information Nature Microbiology thanks Michaela Lackner, Emma Steenkamp and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Lücking, R., Aime, M.C., Robbertse, B. et al. Fungal taxonomy and sequence-based nomenclature. Nat Microbiol 6, 540–548 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-021-00888-x
IMA Fungus (2021)