The genus Bipolaris.
The genus Bipolaris includes important plant pathogens with worldwide distribution. Species recognition in the genus has been uncertain due to the lack of molecular data from ex-type cultures as well as overlapping morphological characteristics. In this study, we revise the genus Bipolaris based on DNA sequence data derived from living cultures of fresh isolates, available ex-type cultures from worldwide collections and observation of type and additional specimens. Combined analyses of ITS, GPDH and TEF gene sequences were used to reconstruct the molecular phylogeny of the genus Bipolaris for species with living cultures. The GPDH gene is determined to be the best single marker for species of Bipolaris. Generic boundaries between Bipolaris and Curvularia are revised and presented in an updated combined ITS and GPDH phylogenetic tree. We accept 47 species in the genus Bipolaris and clarify the taxonomy, host associations, geographic distributions and species' synonymies. Modern descriptions and illustrations are provided for 38 species in the genus with notes provided for the other taxa when recent descriptions are available. Bipolaris cynodontis, B. oryzae, B. victoriae, B. yamadae and B. zeicola are epi- or neotypified and a lectotype is designated for B. stenospila. Excluded and doubtful species are listed with notes on taxonomy and phylogeny. Seven new combinations are introduced in the genus Curvularia to accommodate the species of Bipolaris transferred based on the phylogenetic analysis. A taxonomic key is provided for the morphological identification of species within the genus.