In editing the paper by Ozan et al. (2012), the claim that the fungus has been identified to species level (Pestalotiopsis photiniae) was originally accepted based on the sequence data. However on closer examination it became clear that it is not possible to identify Pestalotiopsis to species level based on ITS sequence data alone (see below). On this basis the paper has been edited to reflect these concerns and has been published accordingly. The morphological descriptions do not appear to fit the other recent report of Pestalotiopsis photiniae in New Disease Report (Chen et al., 2010) although it has not been possible to locate the 1993 definitive description. Hence, the identification made to species level may also be in doubt in this case.
The conclusions of a recent review of Pestalotiopsis (Maharachchikumbura et al., 2011) are that many species are not good biological species. The problem arises from the lack of type cultures and from the assignment of species names based on host association alone. Furthermore, gene sequences cannot be used to clarify species names reliably because many species cluster together in phylogenetic analysis. It has not even been established that Pestalotia and Pestalotiopsis are distinct genera.
Chen CQ, Zhang B, Gao J, 2010. Leaf spot disease of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) caused by Pestalotiopsis photiniae newly reported in China. New Disease Reports 22, 31. [http://dx.doi.org/10.5197/j.2044-0588.2010.022.031]
Maharachchikumbura SSN, Guo LD, Chukeatirote E, Bhhkali AH, Hyde KD, 2011. Pestalotiopsis - morphology, phylogeny, biochemistry and diversity. Fungal Diversity 50, 167-187 (Special Issue: Fungal Diversity - From Morphology to Molecular). [http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13225-011-0125-x]
Ozan S, Kurbetli İ, Değirmenci K, Tülek S, 2012. First report of leaf blight of arborvitae (Thuja orientalis) caused by Pestalotiopsissp. in Turkey. New Disease Reports 25, 14 [http://dx.doi.org/10.5197/j.2044-0588.2012.025.014]
Taylor P, Black R, 2012. Editors' note - Identification of Pestalotiopsis spp.. New Disease Reports 25, 15. [http://dx.doi.org/10.5197/j.2044-0588.2012.025.015]
©2012 The Authors