Melanops Nitschke ex Fuckel, Jb. nassau. Ver. Naturk. 23–24: 225 (1870) [1869–70].
Saprobic on host. Sexual morph: Ascomata pseudothecial, multiloculate, immersed, partially erumpent at maturity, black, subglobose, thick-walled, wall composed of thick-walled textura angularis. Pseudoparaphyses hyaline, thin-walled, septate. Asci bitunicate, stipitate, clavate, eight-spored. Ascospores hyaline, aseptate, thin-walled, ellipsoid to rhomboid, with a persistent mucus sheath. Asexual morph: Conidiomata indistinguishable from ascomata and often formed in the same stroma. Paraphyses filiform, arising from between the conidiogenous cells. Conidiogenous cells cylindrical, hyaline, branched or unbranched, discrete, formed from the inner wall of the conidioma, forming a single conidium at the tip and proliferating percurrently to form one or two indistinct annellations, or proliferating at the same level giving rise to periclinal thickenings. Conidia hyaline, aseptate, fusiform, with a persistent mucus sheath (Adapted from Phillips and Alves 2009).
Type species: Melanops tulasnei Fuckel
Notes: Melanops was introduced by (Fuckel 1870) with M. tulasnei as type species. Melanops is characterized by pseudothecial, multiloculate ascomata, hyaline, thin-walled, septate pseudoparaphyses, hyaline, aseptate, thin-walled, ellipsoid to rhomboid ascospores. The asexual morph is characterized by conidiomata similar in morphology like the ascomata, cylindrical, hyaline, branched or unbranched conidiogenous cells, hyaline, aseptate, fusiform conidia. Tulasne (1856) described Dothidia melanops and Fuckel (1870) transferred D. melanops to Melanops as M. tulasnei. Winter (1887) suggested the placement of D. melanops in Botryosphaeria and provided the new combination B. melanops. Shear and Davidson (1936) provided evidence of the connection between the teleomorph and the anamorph based on cultures derived from single ascospores and this was confirmed by Phillips and Alves (2009). Arx and Müller (1954) considered B. melanops under their broad morphological concept of B. quercuum. Shoemaker (1964) used the length: width ratio to delineate species of Melanops and mentioned the slow growth rate in culture as a characteristic feature of this genus. Phillips and Pennycook (2004) discussed the taxonomy of Melanops and agreed that this taxon belongs in Botryosphaeria but recommended the precise name as B. melanops. Phillips and Pennycook (2004) designated a neotype of B. melanops from a specimen in PAD since the holotype is lost. Phillips and Alves (2009) isolated a Botryosphaeria-like species and confirmed its identify as B. melanops. The specimen of Phillips and Alves (2009) was considered to be an ideal representative of M. tulasnei and was designated as an epitype. In the phylogenetic analyses of Phillips and Alves (2009) based on SSU, LSU, ITS, TEF-1 and BTUB, M. tulasnei formed a distinct lineage in Botryosphaeriaceae. Phillips and Alves (2009) also reported that Botryosphaeria quercuum (CBS 118.39) formed a well-supported clade with M. tulasnei but the authors could not study the morphology of B. quercuum as the culture did not sporulate and was quite old. Botryosphaeria quercuum is distinct form M. tulasnei based on nucleotide differences in the sequences analyzed by Phillips and Alves (2009). Melanops differs from other genera in Botryosphaeriaceae in that the locules are arranged at different levels inside the stroma. Melanops is also unique in having a mucus sheath surrounding the ascospores and conidia. Slippers et al. (2013) introduced Melanopsaceae based on multigene analysis of SSU, LSU, ITS, TEF-1 and mtSSU. Melanops is morphologically and phylogenetically a distinct and type genus of Melanopsaceae. Only three species have molecular data hence the species must be re-collected, re-studied and epitypified. Molecular markers available for Melanops include ITS, SSU, LSU, RPB2, BTUB and TEF-1.