Pleosporales » Coniothyriaceae


Coniothyrium Corda, Icon. fung. (Prague) 4: 38 (1840).

Index Fungorum number: IF 7765; Facesoffungi number: FoF 08171, 451 morphological species (Species Fungorum 2022), 6 species with molecular data.

Pathogenic on host. Sexual morph: Unknown. Asexual morph: Conidiomata pycnidial, separate, globose, dark or pale brown, immersed, uni-locular, thin-walled; wall of brown, thick-walled cells of textura angularis or globulosa. Ostiole circular, central, sometimes papillate. Conidiophores absent. Conidiogenous cells holoblastic, annellidic, indeterminate, discrete, doliiform to cylindrical, hyaline or pale brown, smooth, with 1- close or widely separated annellations, formed from the inner cells of the pycnidial wall. Conidia hyaline to brown, thick-walled, 0–1-euseptate, verruculose, apex obtuse, base truncate (sometimes with a marginal frill), cylindrical, spherical, elliptical or broadly clavate (adapted from Hyde et al. 2013).


Type species: Coniothyrium palmarum Corda


Notes: Coniothyrium is characterised by pycnidial, separate, globose, dark or pale brown conidiomata, holoblastic, annellidic conidiogenous cells, and hyaline to brown, thick-walled, 0–1-euseptate conidia. Coniothyrium morphologically resembles Microsphaeropsis in having phialidic conidiogenous cells with periclinal thickening, and thin-walled, pale greenish brown conidia (de Gruyter et al. 2013). In the phylogenetic analysis of Verkley et al. (2004) using SSU nrDNA, Coniothyrium formed a distant clade to Microsphaeropsis. In the phylogenetic investigation of de Gruyter et al. (2009), Coniothyrium palmarum clustered with Leptosphaeria in Leptosphaeriaceae while the type species of Microsphaeropsis, M. olivacea grouped in Didymellaceae. de Gruyter et al. (2013) expanded the concept of Coniothyrium to include taxa with setose pycnidia and conidiogenesis with elongated conidiophores and transferred several species such as Phoma carteri, Ph. glycinicola, Ph. septicidalis and Pyrenochaeta dolichi to Coniothyrium based on phylogeny. Other genera found in Cucurbitariaceae, Didymellaceae, Phaeosphaeriaceae, Leptosphaeriaceae, Montagnulaceae and Sporormiaceae also have setose pycnidia and conidiogenesis with elongated conidiophores which de Gruyter et al. (2013) mentioned as probably a convergent evolution. Several other genera such as Neophaeosphaeria are described to have a Coniothyrium-like asexual morph. Coniothyrium is a distinct and well-defined genus in Coniothyriaceae. Molecular markers available for Coniothyrium are LSU, SSU, ITS, BTUB, RPB2 and TEF1.


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