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Austrostigmidium, a new austral genus of lichenicolous fungi close to rock-inhabiting meristematic fungi in Teratosphaeriaceae

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Austrostigmidium, a new austral genus of lichenicolous fungi close to rock-inhabiting meristematic fungi in Teratosphaeriaceae

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The new genus of lichenicolous fungi Austrostigmidium is described from Antarctica and Tierra del Fuego (Chile). It is characterized by the presence of black pseudothecia, pseudoparaphyses, fissitunicate, I2, KI2 asci and 3-septate hyaline ascospores. So far, the only known species grows on Mastodia tessellata (Verrucariales, Eurotiomycetes). The new genus is compared with anatomically close genera. Based on nuLSU and nuSSU markers we inferred its phylogenetic relationships and found that it belongs to the family Teratosphaeriaceae (Capnodiales, Dothideomycetes) and is closely related to rock-inhabiting fungal species, as well as to the hyphomycetous lichenicolous fungus Xanthoriicola. Finally, the host-parasite interface has been analyzed by means of transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy in order to describe the interactions among the new fungus and the symbionts forming the host lichen.
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... Roux, Endococcus Nyl., Epibryon Döbbeler and Sphaerellothecium Zopf. However, Austrostigmidium is distinct in its I−, K/I− interascal gel and 3-septate ascospores (Pérez-Ortega et al. 2015), Clauzadella is distinguished by its comparatively thick, violet-tinged ascomatal wall and 3-septate ascospores (Navarro-Rosinés & Roux 1996), Endococcus is distinguished by its more or less pigmented ascospores Etayo & Sancho 2008), Epibryon differs in its typically setose ascomata and poorly developed periphyses (Döbbeler 1978;Hoffmann & Hafellner 2000), and Sphaerellothecium has an I−, K/I− interascal gel and typically produces a conspicuous net of dark vegetative hyphae as well as paraphysoids . The only species of the compared genera growing on members of the same host family Icmadophilaceae is Sphaerellothecium icmadophilae (R. Sant.) ...
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