"fungi" again

Elizabeth Frieders frieders at UWPLATT.EDU
Sat Oct 23 12:40:49 CDT 1999

Ken --
Let me be very clear here -- We did not elevate rusts to a class status.
And in no way did we mess with classification within the rusts ( I'll leave
that for people who work on them).  We have dealt with some of the non-rust
relatives and the bigger picture.

The Uredinales are one of many orders (and unnamed clades) within the class
Urediniomycetes, phylum Basidiomycota (please note that MOST MYCOLOGISTS use
phylum levels, not class levels for the 4 groups of true fungi). The word
basidiomycetes is not used to reflect a taxonomic category, merely a common
name for the phylum, hence the use of lower-case "b".  I don't know of any
mycologists who want to elevate the rusts above ordinal status; the rusts
are a good, solid phylogenetic group, and why change something that isn't
broken?  I see no usefulness in recognizing the rusts as a class. Yes, there
are a lot of species, but there was a recent, rapid co-evolution of them
with their angiosperm hosts. The rusts are one group among many that have
been placed in the class Urediniomycetes (just like in other kinds of
organisms, classes can contain many different orders, and in no way should
it be suggested that all members of the class are members of the same
order). If the rusts are elevated to class level, then every group will have
to be elevated one or more ranks -- the Basidiomycota would thus have to be
elevated to a Domain and all heck breaks loose.  (another argument for
getting rid of the standard ranking system....?)

You asked if I have a problem with your proposed classification, and yes, I
do. As you have it written, you have placed your "microbotryales" within the
same class with rusts, thus indicating that they are a rust, which THEY ARE
NOT.  The only true rusts included in this paper are Cronartium and
Nyssopsora; the remainder are non-rusts, but relatives of them. The true
Microbotryales are a diverse group with several genera of predominantly
dicot smuts, represented by Microbotryum spp. in this paper. There is a huge
diversity of "little bizarre" heterobasidiomycete fungi that fall within the
Urediniomycetes. You have completely ignored any phylogenetic relationships
of the taxa, and the remainder of taxa within the Urediniomycetes.  We (the
three authors of the abovementioned paper) have a chapter (Ch. 16) coming
out in The Mycota VII in which we discuss the entire class including
diversity and systematics. I suggest you wait for that to be in print
(hopefully soon!) before you go messing around in places in which you are
not familiar.
My second major problem with your proposed classification is the name
Uredomycetea. The prefix "Uredo" refers to an asexual, anamorphic genus
Uredo, which cannot be used in classification of the sexual,
teleomorhic/holomorphic taxa.  Uredinia is a teleomorph genus, hence the
prefix "Uredinio" (as per the rules outlined in the  Code). And I am
uncertain why you use the suffix -mycetea instead of -mycetes for the class

I hope this clarifies our position somewhat.
>From: Ken Kinman <kinman at HOTMAIL.COM>
>Subject: "fungi" again
>Date: Sun, Oct 10, 1999, 4:09 PM

>     I got a chance to look at Elizabeth Frieders recent paper in Mycologia.
> I'm glad to see that we do agree that rust fungi should be raised to class
> status.  Instead of Urediniomycetes, I prefer to call it Class Uredomycetea.
>   Unfortunately most mycologists persist in classifying this group as Order
> Uredinales and basidiomycetes as just a class.  If I (who classifies
> Eumycota as a Phylum) recognize Uredomycetea, then surely mycologists who
> recognize Eumycota as a Kingdom should be able to see the usefulness in
> recognizing it as a class (and I have no major problems with the spelling
> Urediniomycetea).
>     But on the other hand, Elizabeth, would you consider classifying your
> clade as Order Microbotryales, rather than Subclass Microbotryomycetidae.
> Until the systematics of the rust fungi (and all basidiomycetes for that
> matter) gets sort out, would you have any objection to the following
> classification?:
>   Class Uredomycetea (rust fungi; 4,000+ species)
>       Order Microbotryales (3 families?)
>       Order Melampsorales (3 families)
>       Order Pucinniales (3-4 families)
> ----------------------------------Cheers, Ken Kinman
> ______________________________________________________
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