However; catagorizing the species within this genus can be quite daunting, it has a confusing taxonomic history. For instance the spores of Pestalotiopsis looks remarkably like Seiridium abietinum, except that S. abietinum lacks a multi-apendaged end.
Top Pestlotiopsis, Bottom Seiridium
Now a new study published in Fungal Diversity, hoping to clear up some of the mess, has conducted a multi-loci genetic analysis on 40 isolates comprised of 28 strains from Pestalotiopsis.
A multi-locus backbone tree for Pestalotiopsis, with a polyphasic characterization of 14 new species
After isolating the samples the team studied both morphology and genetic sequence data, focusing on 10 gene regions generally utilized to help resolve cryptic Pestalotiopsis species. Unfortunately most of the regions served limited purpose due to an inability to outline species boundaries, as well as a low success in PCR amplification. However; β-tubulin, tef1, and ITS all demonstrated themselves as strong marker regions. And while they each proved to be a good source to identify differences among species, working with all three gave exceptional mapping capabilities.
And what happened when all this data was analysed?... 14 new species:
Pestalotiopsis asiatica, P. chinensis, P. chrysea, P. clavata, P. diversiseta, P. ellipsospora, P. inflexa, P. intermedia, P. linearis, P. rosea, P. saprophyta, P. umberspora, P. unicolor and P. verruculosa.
But don't let adding new species make you think they are adding to the confusion, in fact this research gives a solid, in their terminology, backbone tree for the 22 known pestalotiopsis species. Using their research will prove invaluable to further studies in this genus.
Sajeewa S. N. Maharachchikumbura, Liang-Dong Guo, Lei Cai, Ekachai Chukeatirote, Wen Ping Wu, Xiang Sun, Pedro W. Crous, D. Jayarama Bhat, Eric H. C. McKenzie, & Ali H. Bahkali (2012). A multi-locus backbone tree for Pestalotiopsis, with a polyphasic characterization of 14 new species Fungal Diversity DOI: 10.1007/s13225-012-0198-1
Video Cred: The New Haven Register