Ceratosphaeriaceae Z.L. Luo, H.Y. Su & K.D. Hyde, Fungal Divers 99: 490 (2019)

Index Fungorum number: IF555643; 26 species.
Saprobic on wood. Sexual morph: Stromata absent. Ascomata globose to pyriform, deeply immersed to almost superficial, dark brown to black, carbonaceous, with a long cylindrical, black or yellow crystals neck. Periphyses well-developed. Peridium composed of a large number of layers of very thick-walled rather small cells in the neck region. Interascal tissue of paraphyses thin-walled, probably evanescent at maturity. Asci 8-spored, unitunicate, cylindrical. Ascospores biseriate, narrowly cylindric-fusiform, or filiform, ends acute, septate, smooth-walled. Asexual morph: Hyphomycetous. harpophora-like. Phialides or short conidiophores arising on aerial hyphae, with conidial heads slimy, inconspicuous, and transparent. Conidiogenous cells phialidic, ampulliform to lageniform, terminal or intercalary, cylindrical. Conidia cylindrical, hyaline, aseptate, smooth (adapted from Luo et al. 2019).

Type genus – Ceratosphaeria Niessl

Notes – Réblová (2006) accommodated Ceratosphaeria in Magnaporthaceae based on phylogenetic analyses of combined LSU and SSU sequence data. In the phylogenetic study of Luo et al. (2019), Ceratosphaeria species formed a distinct clade in Magnaporthales and they introduced Ceratosphaeriaceae to accommodate Ceratosphaeria. Presently, there is only one genus (Ceratosphaeria) accepted in this family.

Ecological and economic significance of Ceratosphaeriaceae
Ceratosphaeriaceae are saprobes which have the ability to decompose lignocellulose matter in woody litter, resulting in softening of the wood and releasing nutrients in the form of simple molecules that go back into the soil and can be reused by plants and all other organisms (Yuen et al. 1998, Bucher et al. 2004). Thus, they play an important role in nutrient and carbon cycling, biological diversity and ecosystem functioning (Palmer et al. 1997, Wong et al. 1998a)