Fungalpedia – Note 109 Colletotrichum


Colletotrichum Corda

Citation when using this entry: Aumentado et al., in prep – Fungalpedia, plant pathology. Mycosphere.

Index FungorumFacesoffungi, MycoBankGenBank, Fig 1.

Colletotrichum was introduced by Corda (1831) to accommodate C. lineola. Many species of this genus are known as pathogens causing symptoms commonly  referred to as anthracnose on a wide range of hosts and with a worldwide distribution (Cannon et al. 2012, Lima et al. 2013, Jayawardena et al. 20202021Talhinhas & Baroncelli 2021). Symptoms of anthracnose appear as water-soaked or dark necrotic lesions that are oval or angular in shape, sometimes with visible conidial masses. These species are characterized by a distinctive hemibiotrophic lifestyle (Jayawardena et al. 2021). Some Colletotrichum species are endophytes, saprobes, entomopathogens, and animal/ human pathogens (Manamgoda et al. 2013Jayawardena et al. 2016).

Colletotrichum is the sole member of Glomerellaceae (Hyde et al. 2020). Jayawardena et al. (2020) provided the most recent formal genus description for Colletotrichum. Colletotrichum species are mainly asexual, but some have a sexual morph (Glomerella) that can be either homothallic or heterothallic (Talhinhas & Baroncelli 2021).

About 750 epithets existed at the time of the first monograph on Colletotrichum (von Arx 1957).  However, based solely on morphological characters von Arx (1957) accepted only 11 taxa.  utton (1980) accepted 22 species and Sutton (1992) accepted 39 species based on morphological and cultural characteristics, respectively. Hyde et al. (2009) provided the first comprehensive overview of Colletotrichum and accepted 66 species and considered 19 as doubtful while highlighting the need for a molecular approach to revise the genus.

Cannon et al. (2012) based on molecular sequence data (ITS, TUB2, ACT, CHS-1, GAPDH, CAL, GS, and SOD2) revised the genus, accepting 113 species and nine species complexes. Weir et al. (2012) revised the gloeosporioides species complex based on (ITS, TUB2, ACT, CHS-1, GAPDH, CAL, GS, and SOD2) and accepted 22 species. Damm et al. (2012ab201320142019) revised the acutatum, boninense, destructivum, and orbiculare complexes and introduced dracaenophilum, magnum, and orchidearum complexes based on morphology, host distribution and molecular sequence data. Liu et al. (2014) introduced the gigasporum species complex based on conidial size and ITS, ACT, TUB2, CHS-1, GAPDH sequence data. Crouch (2014) introduced caudatum species complex based on appendage-bearing conidia and ITS, SOD2, APN2, and Mat/ Apn2 gene regions. Hyde et al. (2014) noted that the same resolution of the species can be obtained when using the ITS, ACT, TUB2, CHS-1, and GAPDH sequence data, and suggested finding a single gene that can provide a better resolution for each species complex. Bhunjun et al. (2021a) accepted 248 species and emphasized using coalescent approaches and multi-locus phylogeny for species delimitation in Colletotrichum. Agaves species complex was introduced by Bhunjun et al. (2021a)Jayawardena et al. (2021) accepted 248 species, 14 species complexes, and 13 singleton species and provided an updated account of the accepted species while providing information on 450 morpho species. Talhinhas & Baroncelli (2021)  reported that 88 species are common in nature, based on geographical distribution and host range, 128 are data deficient and 41 are threatened. Liu et al. (2022) introduced the bambusicola species complex and accepted 280 species, 16 species complexes, and 15 singleton species. They also generated and assembled whole-genome sequences of the 30 new and a further 18 known species, providing a comprehensive genomic tree with 94 Colletotrichum species.

Type species: Colletotrichum lineola Corda

Other accepted species: (Species Fungorum – search Colletotrichum for names, see      Jayawardena et al. (2021) for accepted species).




Figure 1 – ColletotrichumSymptoms caused by Colletotrichum species (a pepper, b grapes, c papaya, d banana). e Conidiomata and setae. f-g Conidiomata on leaf surface. h-m Conidial attachment. n-r Appressoria. s-t, aa–ab Conidia. u Seta, v-w Tips of setae. x Basal part of setae. y-z Conidiophores. Scale bars:  i-j, u, x = 20 μm, h, k-m, n–r, s–t, v-w, z-ab = 10 μm.



Arx JV. 1957 – Die Arten der Gattung Colletotrichum. Phytopathology Zeischrift 29, 413468.

Bhunjun CS, Phukhamsakda, C, Jayawardena RS, Jeewon R et al. 2021a – Investigating species boundaries in Colletotrichum. Fungal Diversity 107, 107–127.

Cannon PF, Damm U, Johnston PR, Weir BS. 2012 – Colletotrichum: current status and future directions. Studies in Mycology 73, 181213.

Corda ACI. 1831 – Die Pilze Deutschlands. In: Deutschlands Flora in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen 3 (ed. J. Sturm). Abt., tab. 21-32. Nürnberg; Sturm 12, 3364.

Crouch JA. 2014 – Colletotrichum caudatum sl is a species complex. IMA Fungus, 5, 17-30.

Damm U, Cannon PF, Woudenberg JHC, Crous PW. 2012a – The Colletotrichum acutatum species complex. Studies in Mycology 73, 37113.

Damm U, Cannon PF, Woudenberg JHC, Johnston PR et al. 2012b. The Colletotrichum boninense species complex. Studies in Mycology 73, 136.

Damm U, Cannon PF, Liu F, Barreto R et al. 2013 – The Colletotrichum orbiculare species complex: Important pathogens of field crops and weeds. Fungal Diversity 61, 29–59.

Damm U, O’Connell RJ, Groenewald JZ, Crous PW. 2014 – The Colletotrichum destructivum species complex-hemibiotrophic pathogens of forage and field crops. Studies in Mycology 79, 4984.

Damm U, Sato T, Alizadeh A, Groenewald JZ et al. 2019 – The Colletotrichum dracaenophilum, C. magnum and C. orchidearum species complexes. Studies in Mycology 92, 146.

Hyde KD, Cai L, Cannon PF, Crouch JA et al. 2009 – Colletotrichum—names in current use. Fungal Diversity 39, 147182.

Hyde KD, Nilsson RH, Alias SA, Ariyawansa HA et al. 2014 – One stop shop: backbones trees for important phytopathogenic genera: I (2014). Fungal Diversity 67, 21125.

Hyde KD, Norphanphoun C, Maharachchikumbura SSN, Bhat DJ et al. 2020 – Refined families of Sordariomycetes. Mycosphere 11, 305–1059

Jayawardena RS, Hyde KD, Damm U, Cai L et al. 2016 – Notes on currently accepted species of Colletotrichum. Mycosphere 7, 1192-1260.

Jayawardena RS, Hyde KD, Jeewon R, Ghobad-Nejhad M et al. 2019a – One stop shop II: taxonomic update with molecular phylogeny for important phytopathogenic genera: 26–50. Fungal Diversity 94, 41–129. Doi 10.1007/s13225-019-00418-5 

Jayawardena RS, Hyde KD, McKenzie EHC, Jeewon R et al. 2019b – One stop shop III: taxonomic update with molecular phylogeny for important phytopathogenic genera: 51–75. Fungal Diversity 98, 77–160. Doi 10.1007/s13225-019-00433-6

Jayawardena RS, Hyde KD, Chen YJ et al. 2020 – One stop shop IV: taxonomic update with molecular phylogeny for important phytopathogenic genera: 76–100. Fungal Diversity 103, 87–218.

Jayawardena RS, Bhunjun CS, Hyde KD, Gentekaki E et al. 2021 – Colletotrichum: lifestyles, biology, morpho-species, species complexes and accepted species. Mycosphere 12, 519–669.

Liu F, Cai L, Crous PW, Damm U. 2014 – The Colletotrichum gigasporum species complex.Persoonia 33, 8397.

Liu F, Ma ZY, Hou LW, Diao YZ et al. 2022 – Updating species diversity of Colletotrichum, with a phylogenomic overview. Studies in Mycology 101, 156.

Manamgoda DS, Udayanga D, Cai L et al. 2013 – Endophytic Colletotrichum from tropical grasses with a new species C. endophytica. Fungal Diversity 61, 107–115.

Sutton BC. 1980 – The Coelomycetes Fungi Imperfect with pycnidia, acervuli and stromata. Commonwealth Mycological Institute, 696 p.

Sutton BC. 1992 – The genus Glomerella and its anamorph Colletotrichum. In: Bailey, J.A. and Jeger MJ, Eds., Colletotrichum: Biology, Pathology and Control, CAB International, Wallingford, UK, 126.

Talhinhas P, Baroncelli R. 2021 – Colletotrichum species and complexes: geographic distribution, host range and conservation status. Fungal Diversity 110, 109–198.

Weir BS, Johnston PR, Damm U. 2012 – The Colletotrichum gloeosporioides species complex. Studies in Mycology 73, 115-180.


Entry by

Herbert Dustin R. Aumentado & Ruvishika S. Jayawardena, Center of Excellence in Fungal Research and School of Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, Thailand 


(Edited by Kevin D. Hyde & Eric H.C. McKenzie)