Glomeromycotina: What Is a Species and Why Should We Care?

New Phytol. 2018 Dec;220(4):963-967. doi: 10.1111/nph.14913. Epub 2017 Nov 22.


A workshop at the recent International Conference on Mycorrhiza was focused on species recognition in Glomeromycotina and parts of their basic biology that define species. The workshop was motivated by the paradigm-shifting evidence derived from genomic data for sex and for the lack of heterokaryosis, and by published exchanges in Science that were based on different species concepts and have led to differing views of dispersal and endemism in these fungi. Although a lively discussion ensued, there was general agreement that species recognition in the group is in need of more attention, and that many basic assumptions about the biology of these important fungi including sexual or clonal reproduction, similarity or dissimilarity of nuclei within an individual, and species boundaries need to be re-examined and scrutinized with current techniques.

Keywords: Glomeromycota; arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; clonality; heterokaryosis; sex; species recognition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Glomeromycota / classification
  • Glomeromycota / genetics
  • Glomeromycota / physiology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Species Specificity