Molecular phylogenetic and comparative morphological studies provide evidence for the recognition of a new family, Chorioactidaceae, in the Pezizales. Four genera are placed in the family: Chorioactis, Desmazierella, Neournula, and Wolfina. Based on parsimony, likelihood, and Bayesian analyses of LSU, SSU, and RPB2 sequence data, Chorioactidaceae represents a sister clade to the Sarcosomataceae, to which some of these taxa were previously referred. Morphologically these genera are similar in pigmentation, excipular construction, and asci, which mostly have terminal opercula and rounded, sometimes forked, bases without croziers. Ascospores have cyanophilic walls or cyanophilic surface ornamentation in the form of ridges or warts. So far as is known the ascospores and the cells of the paraphyses of all species are multinucleate. The six species recognized in these four genera all have limited geographical distributions in the northern hemisphere. (c) 2007 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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