From the clinical mycology laboratory: New species and changes in fungal taxonomy and nomenclature

Nathan P. Wiederhold, Connie F.C. Gibas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Fungal taxonomy is the branch of mycology by which we classify and group fungi based on similarities or differences. Historically, this was done by morphologic characteristics and other phenotypic traits. However, with the advent of the molecular age in mycology, phylogenetic analysis based on DNA sequences has replaced these classic means for grouping related species. This, along with the abandonment of the dual nomenclature system, has led to a marked increase in the number of new species and reclassification of known species. Although these evaluations and changes are necessary to move the field forward, there is concern among medical mycologists that the rapidity by which fungal nomenclature is changing could cause confusion in the clinical literature. Thus, there is a proposal to allow medical mycologists to adopt changes in taxonomy and nomenclature at a slower pace. In this review, changes in the taxonomy and nomenclature of medically relevant fungi will be discussed along with the impact this may have on clinicians and patient care. Specific examples of changes and current controversies will also be given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number138
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Fungal nomenclature
  • Phylogenetics
  • Species complex
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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