Pleosporales » Phaeosphaeriaceae


Leptospora Rabenh., Hedwigia 1: 116 (1857).

Index Fungorum number: IF 2803; Facesoffungi number: FoF 08334, 15 morphological species (Species Fungorum, 2022), 9 species with molecular data.

Saprobic on host. Sexual morph: Ascomata scattered, solitary, visible as black spots with reddish brown area around ascomata on host surface, semi-immersed, subglobose to ampulliform, uniloculate, glabrous, dark brown to black, with a long neck. Neck subcarbonaceous, easily broken, cylindrical, slightly narrower towards the apex, ostiole central, filled with hyaline periphyses, producing red pigment at the apex. Peridium slightly thin, composed of 3–5 cell layers, of dark brown to black pseudoparenchymatous cells, paler towards the inner layer, arranged in textura angularis to textura prismatica. Hamathecium comprising dense, 2–3 μm wide, hyaline, filamentous, pseudoparaphyses, septate, constricted at the septa, anastomosed above the asci, embedded in a hyaline gelatinous matrix. Asci 8-spored, bitunicate, fissitunicate, numerous, cylindrical to subcylindric-clavate, subsessile to short pedicellate, apically rounded, with well-developed ocular chamber, clearly seen at immature state. Ascospores spiraled or twisted in the ascus, pale brown to yellowish brown, filiform, curved, indistinctly multi-septate, smooth-walled, with guttules, tapering to the lower end cell, lacking a mucilaginous sheath. Asexual morph: Unknown (adapted from Hyde et al. 2020).


Type species: Leptospora rubella (Pers.) Rabenh.


Notes: Leptospora is characterized by scattered, solitary ascomata visisble as black spots with reddish brown area around the ascomata, cylindrical to subcylindric-clavate asci and pale brown to yellowish brown, filiform ascospores. Persoon (1801) initially accommodated the genus to Sphaeria rubella Pers. Later, Rabenhorst (1858) transferred it to Dothideomycetes under Leptospora.  Members of Leptospora usually stains the surface of the host tissues red to purple and the red colour also occur at the apical part of ostiolar canal. Leptospora resembles Ophiobolus in having filiform multi-septate ascospores (Shoemaker, 1976; Crous et al., 2006). Hyde et al. (2016) added three new species namely Leptospora aquatica, L. galii, L. thailandica, provided a reference specimen for L. rubella and confirmed the placement of Leptospora in Phaeosphaeriaceae based on phylogenetic analyses of ITS, LSU and SSU partial sequences. Hyde et al. (2020) provided a new host record from Dipsacus sp. (Caprifoliaceae) in Italy. Leptospora is morphologically and phylogenetically a well-defined genus in Phaeosphaeriaceae. Molecular markers available for Leptospora include LSU, SSU, ITS, TEF1 and RPB2.


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