The Colletotrichum acutatum species complex.
Colletotrichum acutatum is known as an important anthracnose pathogen of a wide range of host plants worldwide. Numerous studies have reported subgroups within the C. acutatum species complex. Multilocus molecular phylogenetic analysis (ITS, ACT, TUB2, CHS-1, GAPDH, HIS3) of 331 strains previously identified as C. acutatum and other related taxa, including strains from numerous hosts with wide geographic distributions, confirmed the molecular groups previously recognised and identified a series of novel taxa. Thirty-one species are accepted, of which 21 have not previously been recognised. Colletotrichum orchidophilum clusters basal to the C. acutatum species complex. There is a high phenotypic diversity within this complex, and some of the species appear to have preferences to specific hosts or geographical regions. Others appear to be plurivorous and are present in multiple regions. In this study, only C. salicis and C. rhombiforme formed sexual morphs in culture, although sexual morphs have been described from other taxa (especially as laboratory crosses), and there is evidence of hybridisation between different species. One species with similar morphology to C. acutatum but not belonging to this species complex was also described here as new, namely C. pseudoacutatum.