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      A multilocus phylogeny of the Metarhizium anisopliae lineage.


      DNA, Fungal, analysis, genetics, DNA, Ribosomal Spacer, Metarhizium, classification, cytology, Peptide Elongation Factor 1, Phylogeny, RNA Polymerase II, Sequence Alignment, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Species Specificity, Tubulin

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          Metarhizium anisopliae, the type species of the anamorph entomopathogenic genus Metarhizium, is currently composed of four varieties, including the type variety, and had been demonstrated to be closely related to M. taii, M. pingshaense and M. guizhouense. In this study we evaluate phylogenetic relationships within the M. anisopliae complex, identify monophyletic lineages and clarify the species taxonomy. To this end we have employed a multigene phylogenetic approach using near-complete sequences from nuclear encoded EF-1alpha, RPB1, RPB2 and beta-tubulin gene regions and evaluated the morphology of these taxa, including ex-type isolates whenever possible. The phylogenetic and in some cases morphological evidence supports the monophyly of nine terminal taxa in the M. anisopliae complex that we recognize as species. We propose to recognize at species rank M. anisopliae, M. guizhouense, M. pingshaense, M. acridum stat. nov., M. lepidiotae stat. nov. and M. majus stat. nov. In addition we describe the new species M. globosum and M. robertsii, resurrect the name M. brunneum and show that M. taii is a later synonym of M. guizhouense.

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