Gloniales » Gloniaceae » Cenococcum

Cenococcum geophilum

Cenococcum geophilum Fr., Syst. mycol. (Lundae) 3(1): 66 (1829).

            Index Fungorum number: IF 202222; Facesoffungi number: FoF 11424, Fig. 1

Description: see Spatafora et al. (2017).

Material examined: see Spatafora et al. (2017).

Fig. 1 Cenococcum geophilum (re-drawn from Fig. 1 in Fernández-Toirán and Águeda 2007). a Outer layer of the cleistothecium with emanating hyphae. b Margin of the cleistothecium with emanating hyphae. c Ramified hyphae. d, e Ascus with ascospores. Scale bars: a–e = 10 μm.

Importance and distribution

Species of Cenococcum forms sclerotia and ectomycorrhizas with host plants in forest soils including gymnosperm and angiosperm trees. (Peter et al. 2016). Cenococcum geophilum is a unique ectomycorrhizal taxon within Dothideomycetes. Cenococcum may be of quarantine importance as C. geophilum is associated with black pine (Pinus thunbergii), in the coastal forests of Asia (Japan) (Nakashima et al. 2021).


Industrial relevance and applications

Cenococcum are melanin derived fungi which are beneficial for healthcare, bioremediation, and industry (Mattoon et al. 2021). They are also beneficial to the agricultural industry as they are efficient at decomposing fulvic acids, remove pollutants from the ecosystems hence beneficial to the streamline industrial processes (Chrusciak 1998).


Biochemical importance of the genus, chemical diversity or applications

Cenococcum produces a wide range of chemicals such as alkaline phosphatase, melanin and other hydrolyases such as protease, esterase, α-d-galactopyranosidase, β-d-galactopyranosidase, α-d-mannopyranosidase, β-d-xylopyranosidase, α-d-glucopyranosidase, β-d-glucopyranosidase, and alkaline phosphatase (Bae and Barton 2021).


There are five Cenococcum records in Index Fungorum (2022), but Cenococcum geophilum var. xylophilum and C. xylophilum have been transferred to Leucoagaricus, Agaricaceae. Cenococcum geophilum var. byssisedum has been synonymized with C. geophilum. Cenococcum comprises only two species known on wide range of host such as Abies balsamea (Pinaceae), Betula nana (Betulaceae), Fagus sylvatica (Fagaceae), Galium rotundifolium (Rubiaceae), Gymnadenia conopsea (Orchidaceae), Lithocarpus densiflorus (Fagaceae), Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortioides (Nothofagaceae), Picea abies (Pinaceae), Pinus (Pinaceae), Pseudotsuga (Pinaceae), Quercus (Fagaceae), Tilia (Malvaceae) and Tsuga (Pinaceae). Cenococcum has wide geographical distribution including Europe (France, Germany, Switzerland, New York), New Zealand, South America (Chile) and the United States.



Bae KS, Barton L. 1989 – Alkaline Phosphatase and Other Hydrolyases Produced by Cenococcum graniforme, an Ectomycorrhizal Fungus. Applied and environmental microbiology 55, 2511–2516.

Fernández-Toirán L, Águeda B. 2007 – Fruitbodies of Cenococcum geophilum. Mycotaxon 100, 109–114.

Fries EM. 1829 – Systema mycologicum III. Greifswald.

Mattoon E, Cordero R, Casadevall A. 2021 – Fungal Melanins and Applications in Healthcare, Bioremediation and Industry. Journal of Fungi 7, 488.

Mikola P. 1948 – On the physiology and ecology of Cenococcum graniforme. Communicationes Instituti forestalis Fenniae 36, 1–104.

Nakashima H, Matsuda Y, Hijii N. 2021 – An ectomycorrhizal fungus, Cenococcum geophilum, in a coastal pine forest has a high tolerance for an insecticide used to control pine wilt disease. Landscape and Ecological Engineering 17, 401–409.

Peter M, Kohler A, Ohm RA, Kuo A et al. 2016 – Ectomycorrhizal ecology is imprinted in the genome of the dominant symbiotic fungus Cenococcum geophilum. Nature communications 7, 12662.

Spatafora JW, Aime MC, Grigoriev IV, Martin F, Stajich JE, Blackwell M. 2017 – The Fungal Tree of Life: from Molecular Systematics to Genome-Scale Phylogenies. Microbiology spectrum 5 (5).

Tedersoo L, May TW, Smith ME. 2010 – Ectomycorrhizal lifestyle in fungi: global diversity, distribution, and evolution of phylogenetic lineages. Mycorrhiza 20, 217–263.




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