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Temporal range: Eocene–recent
Chain of conidia of a Alternaria sp.
Alternaria sp.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Dothideomycetes
Subclass: Pleosporomycetidae
Order: Pleosporales
Luttr. ex M.E.Barr (1987)
  • Melanommatales
  • Pseudosphaeriales [2]

The Pleosporales is the largest order in the fungal class Dothideomycetes. By a 2008 estimate it contains 23 families, 332 genera and more than 4700 species.[3] The majority of species are saprobes on decaying plant material in fresh water,[4] marine,[5] or terrestrial environments, but several species are also associated with living plants as parasites, epiphytes or endophytes.[1] The best studied species cause plant diseases on important agricultural crops e.g. Cochliobolus heterostrophus, causing southern corn leaf blight on maize, Phaeosphaeria nodorum (Stagonospora nodorum) causing glume blotch on wheat and Leptosphaeria maculans causing a stem canker (called blackleg) on cabbage crops (Brassica). Some species of Pleosporales occur on animal dung[6] and a small number occur as lichens [7] and rock-inhabiting fungi.[8]


The order was proposed in 1955 as Dothideomycetes with perithecioid ascomata with pseudoparaphyses amongst the asci, at which time there were seven families (Botryosphaeriaceae, Didymosphaeriaceae, Herpotrichiellaceae, Lophiostomataceae, Mesnieraceae, Pleosporaceae, and Venturiaceae). Three further families were added in 1973 (Dimeriaceae, Mycoporaceae, and Sporormiaceae). The order was only formally described in 1987 (Barr) with 21 families. Five families were added in 2009 (Aigialaceae, Amniculicolaceae, Lentitheciaceae, Tetraplosphaeriaceae, and Trematosphaeriaceae).[1] The family Halojulellaceae was circumscribed in 2013.[9]


Margaret E. Barr originally accepted six suborders within which to arrange the families.[10] A suborder, Pleosporineae has been proposed, including four families (Didymellaceae, Leptosphaeriaceae, Phaeosphaeriaceae and Pleosporaceae).[1] Also Massarineae with five families (Lentitheciaceae, Massarinaceae, Montagnulaceae, Morosphaeriaceae and Trematosphaeriaceae).


The Pleosporales form a well supported clade, with 17 subclades.[1] As a result of phylogenetic studies, the Pleosporales have undergone considerable reorganisation, particularly with reference to the very large genus Phoma and the family Didymellaceae. Consequently, a number of genera considered incertae sedis have now been placed within the latter family.[11]

Genera incertae sedis[edit]

These are genera of the Pleosporales of uncertain taxonomy that have not been placed in any family.


The oldest member of Pleosporales is the extinct genus Margaretbarromyces which was described from Eocene age strata on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e Zhang Y, Schoch CL, Fournier J, Crous PW, Gruyter J De, Woudenberg JHC, Hirayama K, Tanaka K, Pointing SB, Hyde KD. 2009. Multi-locus phylogeny of the Pleosporales: a taxonomic, ecological and evolutionary re-evaluation. Studies in Mycology 64: 85–102.[1]
  2. ^ "Pleosporales". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved October 12, 2007.
  3. ^ Kirk PM, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA. (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi (10th ed.). Wallingford, UK: CAB International. p. 547. ISBN 978-0-85199-826-8.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ Shearer CA, Raja HA, Miller AN, Nelson P, Tanaka K, Hirayama K, Marvanová L, Hyde KD, Zhang Z. 2009. The molecular phylogeny of freshwater Dothideomycetes. Studies in Mycology 64: 145–153.[2]
  5. ^ Suetrong S, Schoch CL, Spatafora JW, Kohlmeyer J, Volkmann-Kohlmeyer B, Sakayaroj J, Phongpaichit S, Tanaka K, Hirayama K, Jones EBG. 2009. Molecular systematics of the marine Dothideomycetes. Studies in Mycology 64: 155–173.[3]
  6. ^ Kruys Å, Eriksson OE, Wedin M. 2006. Phylogenetic relationships of coprophilous Pleosporales (Dothideomycetes, Ascomycota), and the classification of some bitunicate taxa of unknown position. Mycological Research 110:527–536
  7. ^ Nelsen MP, Lücking R, Grube M, Mbatchou JS, Muggia L, Rivas Plata E, Lumbsch HT. 2009. Unravelling the phylogenetic relationships of lichenised fungi in Dothideomyceta. Studies in Mycology 64: 135–144.[4]
  8. ^ Ruibal C, Gueidan C, Selbmann L, Gorbushina AA, Crous PW, Groenewald JZ, Muggia L, Grube M, Isola D, Schoch CL, Staley JT, Lutzoni F, Hoog GS De. 2009. Phylogeny of rock-inhabiting fungi related to Dothideomycetes. Studies in Mycology 64: 123–133.[5]
  9. ^ Ariyawansa HA, Jones EBG, Suetrong S, Alias SA, Kang J-C, Hyde KD. (2013). "Halojulellaceae a new family of the order Pleosporales" (PDF). Phytotaxa. 130 (1): 14–24. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.130.1.2.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  10. ^ Barr ME (1979a) A classification of Loculoascomycetes. Mycologia 71:935–957
  11. ^ Aveskamp, M.M.; de Gruyter, J.; Woudenberg, J.H.C.; Verkley, G.J.M.; Crous, P.W. (2010). "Highlights of the Didymellaceae: A polyphasic approach to characterise Phoma and related pleosporalean genera". Studies in Mycology. 65: 1–60. doi:10.3114/sim.2010.65.01. PMC 2836210. PMID 20502538.
  12. ^ Mindell, R.A.; Stockey, R.A.; Beard, G.; Currah, R.S. (2007). "Margaretbarromyces dictyosporus gen. sp. nov.: a permineralized corticolous ascomycete from the Eocene of Vancouver Island, British Columbia". Mycological Research. 111 (6): 680–684. doi:10.1016/j.mycres.2007.03.010. PMID 17601718.


  • Zhang Y, Crous PW, Schoch CL, Hyde KD. (2011). "Pleosporales". Fungal Diversity. 53 (1): 1–221. doi:10.1007/s13225-011-0117-x. PMC 3477819. PMID 23097638.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  • Schoch CL, Crous PW, Groenewald JZS, Boehm EWA, BurgessTI, Gruyter J De, Hoog GS De, Dixon LJ,Grube M, Gueidan C, Harada Y, Hatakeyama S, Hirayama K, Hosoya T, Huhndorf SM, Hyde KD, Jones EBG, Kohlmeyer J, Kruys Å, Li YM, Lücking R, Lumbsch HT, Marvanová L, Mbatchou JS, McVay AH, Miller AN, Mugambi GK, Muggia L, Nelsen MP, Nelson P, Owensby CA, Phillips AJL, Phongpaichit S, Pointing SB, Pujade-Renaud V, Raja HA, Rivas Plata E, Robbertse B, Ruibal C, Sakayaroj J, Sano T, Selbmann L, Shearer CA, Shirouzu T, Slippers B, Suetrong S, Tanaka K, Volkmann-Kohlmeyer B, Wingfield MJ, Wood AR, Woudenberg JHC, Yonezawa H, Zhang Y, Spatafora JW. (2009). "A class-wide phylogenetic assessment of Dothideomycetes" (PDF). Studies in Mycology. 64: 1–15. doi:10.3114/sim.2009.64.01. PMC 2816964. PMID 20169021. Retrieved 2010-02-04.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)