Summary: Three-hundred-and-forty-eight strains representing the major species of terverticillate penicillia, and including representatives of other closely and distantly related species, were included in a numerical taxonomic study. One-hundred characters were derived from morphological features, physiological and biochemical activities and SEM micrographs. Strains were compared by both Gower's coefficient and Pattern difference, and clustered using the average linkage algorithm. Thirty-seven species or species-complex clusters were recovered at approximately 70% similarity; they generally corresponded to existing taxonomic concepts. Several species were shown to contain variants or chemotypes which were often supported by differences in conidial shape and ornamentation. The use of different types of characters enabled a number of new and previously accepted species to be shown to be either variants or deteriorated examples of other species. Variation in properties both between and within species was considered, particularly in relation to strain stability.


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