The fungal genera Ustilago, Sporisorium and Macalpinomyces represent an unresolved complex. Taxa within the complex often possess characters that occur in more than one genus, creating uncertainty for species placement. Previous studies have indicated that the genera cannot be separated based on morphology alone. Here we chronologically review the history of the Ustilago-Sporisorium-Macalpinomyces complex, argue for its resolution and suggest methods to accomplish a stable taxonomy. A combined molecular and morphological approach is required to identify synapomorphic characters that underpin a new classification. Ustilago, Sporisorium and Macalpinomyces require explicit re-description and new genera, based on monophyletic groups, are needed to accommodate taxa that no longer fit the emended descriptions. A resolved classification will end the taxonomic confusion that surrounds generic placement of these smut fungi.

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Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi

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McTaggart, A. R., Shivas, R. G., Geering, A. D. W., Vánky, K., & Scharaschkin, T. (2012). A review of the Ustilago-Sporisorium-Macalpinomyces complex. Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi, 29(1), 55–62.