Colletotrichum destructivum is an important plant pathogen, mainly of forage and grain legumes including clover, alfalfa, cowpea and lentil, but has also been
reported as an anthracnose pathogen of many other plants worldwide. Several Colletotrichum isolates, previously reported as closely related to C. destructivum, are
known to establish hemibiotrophic infections in different hosts. The inconsistent application of names to those isolates based on outdated species concepts has caused
much taxonomic confusion, particularly in the plant pathology literature. A multilocus DNA sequence analysis (ITS, GAPDH, CHS-1, HIS3, ACT, TUB2) of 83 isolates of
C. destructivum and related species revealed 16 clades that are recognised as separate species in the C. destructivum complex, which includes C. destructivum,
C. fuscum, C. higginsianum, C. lini and C. tabacum. Each of these species is lecto-, epi- or neotypified in this study. Additionally, eight species, namely C. americaeborealis,
C. antirrhinicola, C. bryoniicola, C. lentis, C. ocimi, C. pisicola, C. utrechtense and C. vignae are newly described.