Ceratostomataceae G. Winter, Rabenh. Krypt.-Fl., Edn 2 (Leipzig) 1.2: 247 (1885)

Index Fungorum number: IF80575; Facesoffungi number: FoF01803; 134 species.

Saprobic or weakly parasitic, often growing on other fungi and commonly isolated from soil. Sexual morph: Ascomata perithecial or cleistothecial, yellow to pale brown, transparent, with or without ostiole: often with long-necks, smooth ostiolar setae. Interascal tissue absent. Peridium membranaceous, pale yellow to pale yellowish-brown, cells of a textura angularis or texture globulosa. Asci 8-spored, unitunicate, thin-walled, clavate, without an apical ring, deliquescing. Ascospores biseriate, brown to dark brown, ellipsoidal to citriform, occasionally discoid or fusiform, 1-celled, usually with 2 germ pores at each end, smooth to strongly ornamented, without a sheath. Asexual morph: Hyphomycetous. Conidiophores simple, semi-macronematous, mononematous, some genera branched towards the apex, in some genera conidiophore with several roughened swellings along the entire length, reddish-brown to dark. Conidiogenous cells integrated, terminal, monoblastic, some genera with phialides, singly on aerial hyphae or rarely on conidiophores, lageniform, hyaline. Conidia globose, spindle-shaped, ovate to pyriform, some genera aggregated in small globose heads at the apices of phialides, 1-celled, some genera with 2–3-transverse septa, hyaline, brown and verrucose (adapted from Maharachchimbura et al. 2016b).

Type genus – Melanospora Corda

Notes – Ceratostomataceae (= Melanosporaceae) was introduced by Winter (1885b). Hawksworth et al. (1995) placed Ceratostomataceae in Sordariales based on characters. Jones & Blackwell (1998) placed Ceratostomataceae in Hypocreales based on molecular phylogenetic studies. Zhang & Blackwell (2002) considered Ceratostomataceae was derived from the Hypocreales clade and they included it in Hypocreomycetidae. Hibbett et al. (2007) introduced Melanosporales to accommodate Ceratostomataceae which clustered with Coronophorales. Hongsanan et al. (2017) treated Melanosporales as a synonym of Coronophorales based on phylogenetic analysis, which maintained monophyly with Melanosporales. Wijayawardene et al. (2018a) accepted nine genera in Ceratostomataceae (Arxiomyces, Erythrocarpon, Gonatobotrys, Melanospora, Pteridiosperma, Pustulipora, Rhytidospora, Setiferotheca, Vittatispora) when merging both asexual and sexual genera into one outline. Marin-Felix et al. (2018) re-examined the most relevant genera of Ceratostomataceae based on phylogenetic relationships when redefining Melanospora, and re-established Microthecium and introduced three new genera to Ceratostomataceae and accepted 12 genera in this family. So far, several species and genera in Ceratostomataceae were emended and introduced, and some genera were recombined (Réblová et al. 2016a, Marin-Felix et al. 2018). Consequently, 14 genera are accepted in Ceratostomataceae based on morphological characteristics and DNA-sequence data, these include Arxiomyces, Dactylidispora, Echinusitheca, Erythrocarpon, Harzia, Melanospora (= Gonatobotrys), Microthecium (= Pteridiosperma), Pseudomicrothecium, Pustulipora, Rhytidospora, Scopinella, Setiferotheca, Syspastospora and Vittatispora (Réblová et al. 2016a, Marin-Felix et al. 2018, Wijayawardene et al. 2018a). Many of the species in this family were isolated from dung and five genera lack sequence data. Fresh collections with sequence data are therefore needed.

Figure  – 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.