Pleosporales » Pleosporaceae


Comoclathris Clem., Gen. fung. (Minneapolis): 37 (1909).

Index Fungorum number: IF 1198; Facesoffungi number: FoF 00507, 34 morphological species (Species Fungorum, 2022), 18 species with molecular data.

Saprobic on dead wood or stems. Sexual morph: Ascomata semi-immersed to superficial, scattered or aggregated, subglobose or nearly globose, brown to blackish brown coriaceous, ascomata opening via a large circular aperture or lid. Peridium comprising 3–4 layers of brown, relatively thick-walled cells of textura angularis. Hamathecium composed of dense, hyaline, filiform, septate pseudoparaphyses. Asci 8-spored, bitunicate, fissitunicate, cylindrical to cylindroclavate with an ocular chamber. Ascospores uniseriate or partially overlapping, fusiform, muriform, applanate, brown to reddish-brown, surrounded by a thick, hyaline, mucilaginous sheath. Asexual morph: Alternaria-like (Adapted from Zhang et al., 2012 and Ariyawansa et al., 2015).


Type species: Comoclathris lanata Clem.


Notes: Comoclathris is characterised by semi-immersed to superficial, scattered ascomata, cylindrical to cylindro-clavate asci and fusiform, muriform, applanate, brown to reddish-brown ascospores surrounded by a mucilaginous sheath. Comoclathris has Alternaria-like asexual morph (Zhang et al. 2012, Woudenberg et al. 2013). Molecular data for the type species C. lanata is lacking. Barr (1990b) treated Comoclathris as a synonym of Graphyllium. Shoemaker and Babcock (1992) provided a key to species of Comoclathris together with descriptions and illustrations. Zhang et al. (2011) excluded Comoclathris from Diademaceae and transferred it to Pleosporaceae based on morphology, namely the large ostiolar opening in the ascomata which forms through breakdown of the upper ascomatal wall to form a large aperture or circular lid as previously described by Shoemaker and Babcock (1992). Zhang et al. (2012) and Woudenberg et al. (2013) accepted Comoclathris in Pleosporaceae based on morphology and phylogeny. In the phylogenetic analyses of Woudenberg et al. (2013), two C. compressa strains clustered in a well-supported lineage within the Pleosporaceae outside Alternaria s. str and the same results were reported by Ariyawansa et al. (2014). Ariyawansa et al. (2014) also provided two combinations C. incompta and C. typhicola to accommodate Pleospora incompta and P. typhicola. The main diagnostic character of Comoclathris is the circular lid-like opening and applanate mid to dark reddish-brown muriform ascospores with one longitudinal septum but it is not clear whether these characters are of phylogenetic significance. Comoclathris also resembles Pleospora herbarum, the type of Pleospora, in having cylindrical to cylindro-clavate asci with an ocular chamber and muriform, brown or pale brown ascospores, with or without a sheath but differs in the opening of ascomata (opening via a large circular aperture or lid in Comoclathris while opening by a central pore in Pleospora). Comoclathris resembles Clathrospora but differs in that the latter genus has two or more rows of longitudinal septa while Comoclathris has only a single row in (Shoemaker & Babcock 1992). Comoclathris is also similar to Pleoseptum in having globose, black ascomata and cylindrical to cylindro-clavate asci with muriform, yellowish to dark brown ascospores but differs in having superficial ascomata with circular lid-like openings and fusiform ascospores surrounded by a hyaline, mucilaginous thick sheath while ascomata of Pleoseptum are immersed, papillate and have a broad peridium and ovoid to fusoid ascospores (Ariyawansa et al. 2015). Several authors added new species to Comoclathris (Hyde et al. 2016, Li et al. 2016, Thambugala et al. 2017, Brahmanage et al. 2020). Comoclathris is morphologically and phylogenetically a distinct and well-defined genus in Pleosporaceae. Molecular markers available for Comoclathris are ITS, LSU, SSU, TEF1 and RPB2.


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