Bertiaceae Smyk, Ukr. bot. Zh. 38(6): 47 (1981)

MycoBank number: MB 82053; Index Fungorum number: IF 82053; Facesoffungi number: FoF 01111; 38 species.

Saprobic on wood in freshwater and terrestrial habitats. Sexual morph: Ascomata perithecial, dark brown to black, solitary or gregarious, superficial to erumpent, cupuliform, globose to subglobose, carbonaceous to membranaceous, turbinate or tuberculate or smooth, collabent or collapsing laterally or not collapsing, ostiolate. Peridium thick, Munk pores present or absent, outer layer (pseudoparenchymatous cells) hard, composed of dark tissues, basal part mixed with host cells; inner layer composed of brown to dark brown to hyaline cells of textura angularis. Paraphyses few, inflated, branched. Asci 8-spored, unitunicate, clavate, long pedicellate, apical ring indistinct or absent. Ascospores 2–3-seriate or irregularly arranged, hyaline to brown, cylindrical to fusiform, aseptate to multi-septate, smooth-walled, mostly with guttules. Asexual morph: Undetermined (adapted from Maharachchimbura et al. 2016b).

Type genusBertia De Not.

Notes – Bertiaceae was introduced by Smyk (1981) and is typified by Bertia (De Notaris 1844). It is characterized by superficial, black, turbinate ascomata and clavate asci with hyaline, fusiform ascospores, irregularly arranged in the upper region of the ascus (Maharachchikumbura et al. 2016b). Nannfeldt & Santesson (1975) reported that Nitschkiaceae consists of Acanthonitschkea, Bertia, Coronophora, Gaillardiella and Nitschkia based on similarity of ascomata. Nannfeldt & Santesson (1975) also postulated that Bertia should be given generic status in the family based on different morphs of the ascoma without Quellkörper and 8-spored asci. Smyk (1981) was of the same view and introduced Bertiaceae. Mugambi & Huhndorf (2010) re- evaluated Coronophorales based on multi-gene analysis and proposed Bertia and Gaillardiella in Bertiaceae. Gaillardiella has superficial, brown ascomata with a roughened papulose peridium (Miller & Huhndorf 2009). Maharachchikumbura et al. (2015) analysed a combined DNA sequence dataset to confirm the placement of Bertia and Gaillardiella in Bertiaceae, in a highly supported clade in the Coronophorales. In this study, Bertiaceae is closely related to Nitschkiaceae based on combined LSU-tef1-ITS sequence data analysis (Fig. 11). Bertia moriformis is illustrated in this entry.

Figure 11 – Phylogram generated from maximum likelihood analysis based on combined LSU, tef1 and ITS sequence data for Coronophorales. Related sequences are referred to Hongsanan et al. (2017). Seventy-nine strains are included in the combined analyses which comprised 2211 characters (1044 characters for LSU, 627 characters for tef1, 540 characters for ITS) after alignment. Members of Torpedosporales are used as outgroup taxa. Single gene analyses were carried out and the phylogenies were similar in topology and clade stability. The best RaxML tree with a final likelihood value of -23354.525618 is presented. Estimated base frequencies were as follows: A = 0.228019, C = 0.288494, G = 0.281955, T = 0.201533; substitution rates AC = 1.194725, AG = 2.787601, AT = 1.703067, CG = 0.955075, CT = 3.781057, GT = 1.000000; gamma distribution shape parameter a = 0.736138. Bootstrap support values for ML greater than 50% are given near the nodes. Ex-type strains are in bold. The newly generated sequences are indicated in blue.