Micraspis acicola was described more than 50 years ago to accommodate a phacidium-like fungus that caused a foliar disease of Picea mariana. After its publication, two more species were added, M. strobilina and M. tetraspora, all of them growing on Pinaceae in the Northern Hemisphere, but each species occupying a unique type of host tissue (needles, cones or wood). Micraspis is considered to be a member of class Leotiomycetes, but was originally placed in Phacidiaceae (Phacidia/es), later transferred to Helotiaceae (Helotia/es) and recently returned to Phacidiales but in a different family (Tympanidaceae). The genus remains poorly sampled, and hence poorly understood both taxonomically and ecologically. Here, we use morphology, cultures and sequences to provide insights into its systematic position in Leotiomycetes and its ecology. Our results show that the genus should not be included in Tympanidaceae or Phacidiaceae, and support the erection of a new family and order with a unique combination of morphological features supported by molecular data.
The monotypic genus Biatorellina is currently considered a taxonomic synonym of Tryblidiopsis but has an obscure and complicated history. During the revision of the genus Tympanis a syntype of Biatorellina buchsii was fortuitously found and reviewed. Initially our revision led to the hypothesis that B. buchsii could be conspecific with Tympanis confusa. A bibliographic and morphological revision, together with a biometric study, was done using the syntype of B. buchsii and specimens of Tympanisconfusa to verify the identity of the genus Biatorellina. Our results show an overlap in the morphology, biometry, distribution and ecology of B. buchsii (≡ Tympanis buchsii) and Tympanis confusa. The identity and the placement of Biatorellina is resolved and B. buchsii is proposed as a synonym of Tympanis confus.
Fungi in the class Leotiomycetes are ecologically diverse, including mycorrhizas, endophytes of roots and leaves, plant pathogens, aquatic and aero-aquatic hyphomycetes, mammalian pathogens, and saprobes. These fungi are commonly detected in cultures from diseased tissue and from environmental DNA extracts. The identification of specimens from such character-poor samples increasingly relies on DNA sequencing. However, the current classification of Leotiomycetes is still largely based on morphologically defined taxa, especially at higher taxonomic levels. Consequently, the formal Leotiomycetes classification is frequently poorly congruent with the relationships suggested by DNA sequencing studies. Previous class-wide phylogenies of Leotiomycetes have been based on ribosomal DNA markers, with most of the published multi-gene studies being focussed on particular genera or families. In this paper we collate data available from specimens representing both sexual and asexual morphs from across the genetic breadth of the class, with a focus on generic type species, to present a phylogeny based on up to 15 concatenated genes across 279 specimens. Included in the dataset are genes that were extracted from 72 of the genomes available for the class, including 10 new genomes released with this study. To test the statistical support for the deepest branches in the phylogeny, an additional phylogeny based on 3156 genes from 51 selected genomes is also presented. To fill some of the taxonomic gaps in the 15-gene phylogeny, we further present an ITS gene tree, particularly targeting ex-type specimens of generic type species. A small number of novel taxa are proposed: Marthamycetales ord. nov., and Drepanopezizaceae and Mniaeciaceae fams. nov. The formal taxonomic changes are limited in part because of the ad hoc nature of taxon and specimen selection, based purely on the availability of data. The phylogeny constitutes a framework for enabling future taxonomically targeted studies using deliberate specimen selection. Such studies will ideally include designation of epitypes for the type species of those genera for which DNA is not able to be extracted from the original type specimen, and consideration of morphological characters whenever genetically defined clades are recognized as formal taxa within a classification.
Triblidiaceae is a family of uncommonly encountered, non-lichenized discomycetes. A recent classification circumscribed the family to include Triblidium (4 spp. and 1 subsp.), Huangshania (2 spp.) and Pseudographis (2 spp. and 1 var.). The apothecia of these fungi are persistent and drought-tolerant; they possess stromatic, highly melanized covering layers that open and close with fluctuations of humidity. Triblidialean fungi occur primarily on the bark of Quercus, Pinaceae and Ericaceae, presumably as saprobes. Though the type species of Huangshania is from China, these fungi are mostly known from collections originating from Western Hemisphere temperate and boreal forests. The higher-rank classification of triblidialean fungi has been in flux due in part to an overemphasis on ascospore morphology. Muriform ascospores are observed in species of Triblidium and in Pseudographis elatina. An intense, dark blue/purple ascospore wall reaction in iodine-based reagents is observed in species of Pseudographis. These morphologies have led, in part, to these genera being shuffled among unrelated taxa in Hysteriaceae (Dothideomycetes, Hysteriales) and Graphidaceae (Lecanoromycetes, Ostropales). Triblidiaceae has been placed within the monofamilial order Triblidiales (affinity Lecanoromycetes). Here, we demonstrate with a three-gene phylogenetic approach that triblidialean fungi are related to taxa in Rhytismatales (Leotiomycetes). We synonymize Triblidiales under Rhytismatales and emend Triblidiaceae to include Triblidium and Huangshania, with Pseudographis placed within Rhytismataceae. A history of Triblidiaceae is provided along with a description of the emended family. We discuss how the inclusion of triblidialean fungi in Rhytismatales brings some rarely observed or even unique ascospore morphologies to the order and to Leotiomycetes.
Ruhlandiella is a genus of exothecial, ectomycorrhizal fungi in the order Pezizales. Ascomata of exothecial fungi typically lack a peridium and are covered with a hymenial layer instead. Ruhlandiella species have nonoperculate asci and highly ornamented ascospores. The genus was first described by Hennings in 1903 to include the single species, R. berolinensis. Since then, mycologists have uncovered Ruhlandiella species in many locations around the globe, including Australia, Spain, Italy, and the USA. Currently, there are four recognized species: R. berolinensis, R. peregrina, R. reticulata, and R. truncata. All were found near Eucalyptus or Melaleuca trees of Australasian origin. Recently, we discovered two new species of Ruhlandiella in Nothofagaceae forests in South America. They regularly form mitotic spore mats directly on soil in the forests of Patagonia. Here, we formally describe these new species and construct the phylogeny of Ruhlandiella and related genera using a multilocus phylogenetic analysis. We also revise the taxonomy of Ruhlandiella and provide an identification key to accepted species of Ruhlandiella.
The class Laboulbeniomycetes comprises biotrophic parasites associated with arthropods and fungi. Two orders are currently recognized, Pyxidiophorales and Laboulbeniales. Herpomyces is an isolated genus of Laboulbeniales, with species that exclusively parasitize cockroaches (Blattodea). Here, we evaluate 39 taxa of Laboulbeniomycetes with a three-locus phylogeny (nrSSU, ITS, nrLSU) and propose a new order in this class. Herpomycetales accommodates a single genus, Herpomyces, with currently 26 species, one of which is described here based on morphological and molecular data. Herpomyces shelfordellae is found on Shelfordella lateralis cockroaches from Hungary, Poland, and the USA. We also build on the six-locus dataset from the Ascomycota Tree of Life paper (Schoch and colleagues, 2009) to confirm that Laboulbeniomycetes and Sordariomycetes are sister classes, and we apply laboulbeniomyceta as a rankless taxon for the now well-resolved node that describes the most recent common ancestor of both classes.
In this paper, new species and formae of the genus Gloeandromyces (Ascomycota, Laboulbeniales) are described and illustrated. These are: Gloeandromyces dickii sp. nov. on Trichobius joblingi from Nicaragua and Panama; G. pageanus f. alarum f. nov. on Tri. joblingi from Panama; G. pageanus f. polymorphus f. nov. on Tri. dugesioides and Tri. joblingi from Panama and Trinidad; and G. streblae f. sigmomorphus f. nov. on Tri. joblingi from Panama. Gloeandromyces pageanus on Tri. dugesioides from Panama as described in Nova Hedwigia 105 (2017) is referred to as G. pageanus f. pageanus. Support for these descriptions of species and formae comes from phylogenetic reconstruction of the large subunit ribosomal DNA and from the application of species delimitation methods (ABGD, bPTP, GMYC). Host specialization results in phylogenetic segregation by host species in both G. pageanus and G. streblae and this may represent a case of incipient speciation. A second mechanism driving diversity involves position induced morphological adaptations, leading to the peculiar morphotypes that are associated to growing on a particular position of the integument (G. pageanus f. alarum, G. streblae f. sigmomorphus).
Herbarium specimens represent important records of morphological and genetic diversity of plants that inform questions relevant to global change, including species distributions, phenology and functional traits. It is increasingly appreciated that plant microbiomes can influence these aspects of plant biology, but little is known regarding the historic distribution of microbes associated with plants collected in the pre-molecular age. If microbiomes can be observed reliably in herbarium specimens, researchers will gain a new lens with which to examine microbial ecology, evolution, species interactions. Here, we describe a method for accessing historical plant microbiomes from preserved herbarium specimens, providing a proof of concept using two plant taxa from the imperiled boreal biome (Andromeda polifolia and Ledum palustre subsp. groenlandicum, Ericaceae). We focus on fungal endophytes, which occur within symptomless plant tissues such as leaves. Through a three-part approach (i.e. culturing, cloning and next-generation amplicon sequencing via the Illumina MiSeq platform, with extensive controls), we examined endophyte communities in dried, pressed leaves that had been processed as regular herbarium specimens and stored at room temperature in a herbarium for four years. We retrieved only one endophyte in culture, but cloning and especially the MiSeq analysis revealed a rich community of foliar endophytes. The phylogenetic distribution and diversity of endophyte assemblages, especially among the Ascomycota, resemble endophyte communities from fresh plants collected in the boreal biome. We could distinguish communities of endophytes in each plant species and differentiate likely endophytes from fungi that could be surface contaminants. Taxa found by cloning were observed in the larger MiSeq dataset, but species richness was greater when subsets of the same tissues were evaluated with the MiSeq approach. Our findings provide a proof of concept for capturing endophyte DNA from herbarium specimens, supporting the importance of herbarium records as roadmaps for understanding the dynamics of plant-associated microbial biodiversity in the Anthropocene.This article is part of the theme issue 'Biological collections for understanding biodiversity in the Anthropocene'.
The new genus Aotearoamyces is proposed to accommodate a single species that was repeatedly collected on fallen wood in Nothofagaceae forests of New Zealand and was previously misidentified as a Claussenomyces species. This monotypic genus belongs to Tympanidaceae, a recently erected family in Phacidiales. Aotearoamyces is differentiated from other Tympanidaceae by phragmospores that do not form conidia either in or outside the asci, an exciple of textura intricata with hyphae widely spaced and strongly gelatinized (plectenchyma), and apically flexuous, partly helicoid paraphyses. The asexual morph was studied in pure culture. Phylogenetic analyses of combined SSU, ITS and LSU sequences strongly support a sister relationship between the sexually typified Aotearoamyces and the asexually typified “Collophorina” paarla characterized morphologically by forming endoconidia, a feature not found in the genetically distinct type species of Collophorina. Based on our molecular results, we place the genus Epithamnolia in the Mniaecia lineage within Phacidiales.
Parasola is a genus of small, veil-less coprinoid mushrooms in the family Psathyrellaceae (Agaricales). The genus is not well documented in Asia, specifically in Pakistan. In this study we describe two new species Parasola glabra and P. pseudolactea from Pakistan, based on morphological and molecular data. Phylogeny based on three DNA regions: nuc rDNA region encompassing the internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2 along with the 5.8S rDNA (ITS), nuc 28S rDNA D1-D2 domains (28S) and translation elongation factor 1α gene (TEF1α) show that the new taxa are clustered in a clade formed by the members of section Parasola of genus Parasola. Parasola glabra with grayish pileus, slightly depressed pileal disc, lamellae separated from the stipe by pseudocollarium, basidiospores 14.5–16.5 × 9.5–11.5 × 8.0–10.5 µm, in front view broadly ovoid to oblong, some with rhomboidal outline, in side view ellipsoid, with eccentric germ-pore of 1.5 µm diameter. Parasola pseudolactea with yellowish brown to dull brown pileus, disc indistinctly umbonate, lamellae free, pseudocollarium absent, basidiospores 13.5–14.5 × 10.5–12.0 × 9.5–10.5 µm, in face view rounded triangular to heart shaped, rarely ovoid to subglobose, in side view ellipsoid to oblong, with eccentric germ-pore of 1.5 µm diam. In addition to these new species, P. auricoma and P.lilatincta were also studied. Morphological descriptions for the new species and comparison with known Parasola species are provided. Our observations highlight the diversity of Parasola in northern Pakistan and further document the need for additional systematic focus on the region’s fungi.
The genus Otidea was recently monographed and studied phylogenetically, but knowledge of the diversity and distribution of Otidea species in China is fragmentary. In this study, collections from China were examined morphologically and included in phylogenetic analyses. Using LSU, TEF1-α, and RPB2 new species were placed within previously recognized clades in the genus. The results agree with both Genealogical Concordance Phylogenetic Species Recognition (GCPSR) and genetic divergence as previously reported. Three new species, Otidea hanseniae, Otidea korfii and Otidea purpureogrisea are recognized based on phylogenetic reconstruction using ITS, LSU, TEF1- α and RPB2. Comments on some incompletely known species are added. With the discovery of these three new species, the genus Otidea in China proves to be more diverse than previously recognized.
The large genus Leucoagaricus (Basidiomycota) is poorly studied in Pakistan, where the northern parts of the country are considered hotspots for biodiversity. Based on morphological and molecular data, five new species are described: Leucoagaricus badius, L. lahorensiformis, L. pakistaniensis, L. sultanii and L. umbonatus. Descriptions and illustrations are given for the new taxa. A phylogeny based on morphology and four DNA regions, including the internal transcribed spacers (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 = ITS) and D1-D2 domains of the 28S gene of the nuc rDNA), the gene for RNA polymerase II second largest subunit (RPB2) and the translation elongation factor 1α gene (TEF1-α), show that the new taxa are clustered in a clade representing Leucoagaricus section Rubrotincti subgenus Sericeomyces.
Collections of a species referred to Sarcosomataceae (Pezizomycetes) from eastern North America were studied both morphologically and using nuc rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 = ITS) and approximately 800 bp from the 5' region of the nuc 28S rDNA (28S) to construct a phylogeny. The analyses indicate that these collections are Donadinia seaveri, a species previously known only from Bermuda. Because the associated tree, Juniperus bermudiana, has declined as a result of insect attack, it was thought that D. seaveri might be extinct. This work indicates that it is not extinct but is present in eastern North America. The species is described, new distributional records are given, and its association with the genus Juniperus is discussed.
Bulgariella pulla (Leotiomycetes) is redescribed with the addition of characters of the ascus, spores, and habitat that were previously unconsidered. The ascus dehiscence mechanism in Bulgariella is unusual among Leotiomycetes. In this genus, asci lack a pore and open by splitting to form valves. Phylogenetic analyses of partial sequences of translation elongation factor 1-α (TEF1-α), the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (RPB2), and the 18S and 28S nuc rRNA genes determined that Bulgariella belongs within Leotiomycetes but without conclusive assignment to an order or family. A comparison of the nuc rDNA internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2 plus the 5.8S gene (ITS) determined that Bulgariella isolates from the USA, Norway, and Sweden had 100% sequence similarity, and an isolate from Chile had 99.3% similarity with these isolates. These results support the proposition that these collections represent a single species, B. pulla. Bulgariella sphaerospora, a more recently described species, is confirmed as conspecific with B. pulla.
Bat flies (Streblidae and Nycteribiidae) are among the most specialized families of the order Diptera. Members of these two related families have an obligate ectoparasitic lifestyle on bats, and they are known disease vectors for their hosts. However, bat flies have their own ectoparasites: fungi of the order Laboulbeniales. In Europe, members of the Nycteribiidae are parasitized by four species belonging to the genus Arthrorhynchus. We carried out a systematic survey of the distribution and fungus-bat fly associations of the genus in central Europe (Hungary, Romania).