Intraspecific diversity and taxonomy of Emmonsia crescens
Emmonsia crescens is known as an environmental pathogen causing adiaspiromycosis in small rodents. As the generic name Emmonsia is no longer available for this species, its taxonomic position is reevaluated. The intraspecific variation of Emmonsia crescens was analyzed using molecular, morphological and physiological data, and the relationship between frequency of adiaspiromycosis and body temperature of host animals was explored. A North American and a pan-global lineage could be discerned, each with subclusters at low genetic distance. European strains produced the classical type of very large adiaspores, while in the North American lineage adiaspores relatively small, resembling the broad-based budding cells of Blastomyces. Members of the closely related genus Emergomyces may exhibit large, broad-based in addition to small, narrow-based budding cells. We conclude that the morphology of the pathogenic phase in these fungi differs gradationally between species and even populations, and is therefore less suitable as a diagnostic criterion for generic delimitation. Two Emmonsia species are reclassified in Emergomyces.