Dothideales » Dothideaceae


Delphinella (Sacc.) Kuntze, Revis. gen. pl. (Leipzig) 3(3): 74 (1898).

Glonium subgen. Delphinella Sacc., Syll. fung. (Abellini) 9: 1103 (1891).

Index Fungorum number: IF 1445; Facesoffungi number: FoF 00074, 6 morphological species (Species Fungorum 2022), 3 species with molecular data.

Saprobic or parasitic on twigs, wood, leaves and cone scales of gymnosperms and woody dicotyledons (Barr 1972). Sexual morph: Ascostromata dark brown to black, immersed and becoming erumpent, solitary or gregarious, globose to subglobose, multiloculate, thick-walled. Locules globose to subglobose, lacking ostioles. Peridium of locules relatively thick, comprising 1–2-layers, lightly pigmented of cells of textura angularis. Hamathecium lacking pseudoparaphyses. Asci polysporous, bitunicate, fissitunicate, oblong, clavate or cylindrical, with a short pedicel, apically rounded, ocular chamber absent, asci borne at the base of the loculus. Ascospores overlapping 2−3-seriate to crowded, transverselyuniseptate, hyaline or yellowish, with rounded apex, obtuse or pointed at the base, constricted at the septum, smooth-walled. Asexual morph: see notes (adapted from Thambugala et al. 2014).


           Type species: Delphinella strobiligena (Desm.) Sacc. ex E. Müll. & Arx


Notes: Delphinella strobiligena was previously known as Sphaeria strobiligena. Müller and Arx (1962) provided the combination Delphinella strobiligena and transferred several species namely D. abietis, D. balsameae, D. deviata, D. polyspora and D. strobiligena to Delphinella. The genus Delphinella is characterised by dark brown to black, immersed and erumpent ascostromata, peridium comprising lightly pigmented of cells of textura angularis, polysporous, bitunicate asci and transversely uniseptate, hyaline or yellowish ascospores. Barr (1972) added D. tsugae and Barr et al. (1986) added D. peckii, previously accommodated in Sphaerella and Mycosphaerella respectively. Arx and Müller (1975) referred Delphinella to Dothideaceae. Hawksworth (1979) synonymized D. cookei under Muellerella lichenicola and transferred it to Verrucariaceae based on morphology especially the polysporous asci. Barr (2001) and Hyde et al. (2013) suggested that Delphinella should be placed under Dothideaceae. Barr (1972) described the asexual state of Delphinella abietis as dothiorella-like, characterised by thick-walled pycnidia and hyaline, fusoid, one-celled conidia but Dothiorella belongs in Botryosphaeriaceae (Liu et al. 2012). In the phylogenetic analysis of Thambugala et al. (2014), a strain of Delphinella strobiligena (CBS 735.71) clustered in Dothideaceae close to Sydowia polyspora (CBS 1129) and suggested that perhaps one of the strains is misidentified or both taxa should be in one genus. Thambugala et al. (2014) named the clade as Delphinella comprising three taxa, D. strobiligena, Rhizosphaera pini and S. polyspora. Delphinella is a distinct genus in Dothideaceae but more specimens with molecular data will help verify the status of the genus. Molecular markers available for Delphinella are LSU, SSU, ITS, BTUB, RPB2 and TEF-1.


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