Review. Biology and systematics of the form genus Rhizoctonia

V. Gonzalez Garcia, M.A. Portal Onco, V. Rubio Susan


Members of the form genus Rhizoctonia D.C. are considered as a complex mixture of filamentous fungi, having in common the possession of a non-spored imperfect state, usually referred to as the Rhizoctonia anamorph. The group includes several of the most devastating crop pathogens like Thanatephorus cucumeris (Frank) Donk (anamorph=Rhizoctonia solani Kühn), the majority of orchid mycorrhizal symbionts (mainly belonging to genus Ceratobasidium D.P. Rogers) and a collection of saprotrophic organisms of different systematic placement. The Rhizoctonia anamorph is characterized by several common features present among members of the entire Rhizoctonia species complex. Taxa from the group have been rearranged into several groups of higher fungi, including both Ascomycota and Basidiomycota, and split into several genera, employing criteria such as the analysis and ultrastructural comparison of septal apparatus. Until very recently, classification for some of the groups within the complex has been exclusively based on criteria such as hyphal anastomosis, since other types of diagnostic features are usually scarce in these fungi. Phytopathological studies in the complex have represented the major contingent of contributions in the group, especially in the case of R. solani. Some members of the complex have been reported to be protective isolates against pathogenic members of Rhizoctonia and some other fungal pathogens. This review focuses on the knowledge of several aspects of the species of Rhizcotonia s. lato, such as its current taxonomic placement, the biology and systematics of some groups of the complex, and a revision of the methodologies employed in studying it.


Crops; Fungal diseases; Pathogens; Rhizoctonia; Taxonomy; Reproduction; Biological development; Pathogenicity

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2006041-178