Cephalothecaceae Höhn., Annls mycol. 15(5): 362 (1917)
MycoBank number: MB 80571; Index Fungorum number: IF 80571; Facesoffungi number: FoF 01330; 27 species.
Saprobic on decaying wood or bark and soil or hypersaprobic on other fungi, particularly polypores, some species are opportunistic pathogens causing systemic mycotic infection in animals and humans. Sexual morph: Ascomata cleistothecial, solitary to gregarious, superficial, subglobose to globose, dark brown to black, glabrous, sometimes covered or surrounded at base by subiculum consisting of sulphureous hyphae, lacking ostioles. Peridium cephalothecoid, comprising 2–3 layers, outer layer composed of dark brown cells of textura angularis to prismatica, inner layer composed of elongated, hyaline cells of textura prismatica. Paraphyses comprising branched, and septate ascogenous hyphae. Asci forming upon the ascogenous hyphae, 8-spored, unitunicate, pyriform to subglobose to globose, evanescent, apedicellate, without an apical ring. Ascospores irregularly arranged, brown, variously-shaped, unicellular, without germ pores, smooth-walled. Asexual morph: Hyphomycetous. Mycelium pale-yellowish to brownish-yellow, branched septate. Conidiophores macronematous, semi-macronemous or micronematous, cylindrical, stiffly upright, septate, unbranched or verticillate. Conidiogenous cells phialidic, cylindrical, strongly tapering and thick-walled, hyaline, smooth-walled. Conidia in chains, hyaline to brown, cylindrical, ovate or obovate, with or without an apiculate or truncate base, 1-celled, smooth-walled (adapted from Maharachchikumbura et al. 2016b, Davolos et al. 2019).
Type genus – Cephalotheca Fuckel
Notes – Cephalothecaceae was previously accommodated in the Sordariales by Suh & Blackwell (1999), but this study was based only on SSU, LSU sequence analysis. This has been revised with time and based on its uncertain phylogenetic placement and different morphology, Maharachchikumbura et al. (2015) tentatively referred the Cephalothecaceae to family incertae sedis in Sordariomycetes. Similar results were obtained by Hongsanan et al. (2017) who reported that the divergence of Cephalothecaceae was at 175 MYA. Five genera, Albertiniella, Cephalotheca, Cryptendoxyla, Phialemonium and Victoriomyces are currently included in Cephalothecaceae (Fuckel 1872, Kirschstein 1936, Malloch & Cain 1970, Gams & McGinnis 1983, Maharachchikumbura et al. 2016b, Davolos et al. 2019). The genus is placed in Cephalothecales in this study.