• COX1;
  • DNA barcoding;
  • fungi;
  • mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1;
  • mycotoxins;
  • plant pathogens


Using data from published mitochondrial or complete genomes, we developed and tested primers for amplification and sequencing of the barcode region of cytochrome oxidase 1 (COX1) of the fungal genus Fusarium, related genera of the order Hypocreales, and degenerate primers for fungi in the subdivision Pezizomycotina. The primers were successful for amplifying and sequencing COX1 barcodes from 13 genera of Hypocreales (Acremonium, Beauveria, Clonostachys, Emericellopsis, Fusarium, Gliocladium, Hypocrea, Lanatonectria, Lecanicillium, Metarhizium, Monocillium, Neonectria and Stilbella), 22 taxa of Fusarium, and two genera in other orders (Arthrosporium, Monilochaetes). Parologous copies of COX1 occurred in several strains of Fusarium. In some, copies of the same length were detected either by heterozygous bases in otherwise clean sequences or in different replicates of amplification and sequencing events; this may indicate multiple transcribed copies. Other strains included one or two introns. Two intron insertion sites had at least two nonhomologous intron sequences among Fusarium species. Irrespective of whether the multiple copy issue could be resolved by sequencing RNA transcripts, developing a precise COX1-based barcoding system for Fusarium may not be feasible. The overall divergence among homologous COX1 sequences obtained so far is rather low, with many species sharing identical sequences.