Cones, needles and wood: Micraspis (Micraspidaceae, Micraspidales fam. et ord. nov.) speciation segregates by host plant tissues

Date Published:

June 2020


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 (Phacidiales), later transferred to Helotiaceae (Helotiales) 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

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 05/28/2020