Delphinella (Sacc.) Kuntze, Revis. gen. pl. (Leipzig) 3(2): 74 (1898)

Synonyms – Diplosphaerella Grove, J. Bot., Lond. 50: 91 (1912)
                      Glonium subgen. Delphinella Sacc., Syll. fung. (Abellini) 9: 1103 (1891)
                      Hariotia P. Karst., J. Bot., Paris 3: 206 (1889)
                      Pleoglonis Clem., Gen. fung. (Minneapolis): 56, 173 (1909)
                      Rehmiellopsis Bubák & Kabát, in Bubák, Naturwiss. Z. Forst−Landw. 8: 320 (1910)

Saprobic or parasitic on twigs, wood, leaves and cone scales of gymnosperms and woody dicotyledons (Barr 1972). Sexual state: Ascostromata dark brown to black, immersed and becoming erumpent, solitary or gregarious, globose to subglobose, multiloculate, thick-walled. Locules globose to subglobose, lacking ostioles. Peridium of locules relatively thick, comprising 1–2-layers, lightly pigmented of cells of textura angularis. Hamathecium lacking pseudoparaphyses. Asci polysporous, bitunicate, fissitunicate, oblong, clavate or cylindrical, with a short pedicel, apically rounded, ocular chamber absent, asci borne at the base of the loculus. Ascospores overlapping 2−3-seriate to crowded, transversely 1-septate, hyaline or yellowish, with rounded apex, obtuse or pointed at the base, constricted at the septum, smooth-walled. Asexual state: See notes.

NotesDelphinella was introduced by Kuntze (1898) based on Sphaeria strobiligena. Müller and von Arx (1962) assigned Delphinella strobiligena as the type species and transferred D. abietis (O. Rostr.) E. Müll., D. balsameae (Waterman) E. Müll., D. cookie (Linds.) E. Müll., D. deviata (Petr.) E. Müll. and D. polyspora (Johanson) E. Müll. Barr (1972) introduced D. tsugae (House) M.E. Barr, while Barr (1986) added D. peckii (Lindau) M.E. Barr which had previously been referred to Sphaerella and Mycosphaerella. The locules of D. polyspora are smaller and more conic than the other species of the genus (Barr 1972). Von Arx and Müller (1975) included the genus Delphinella under Dothideaceae. Hawksworth (1979) synonymized D. cookei under Muellerella lichenicola (Sommerf.) D. Hawksw. and placed it in Verrucariaceae based on its polysporous asci. However, the genus Delphinella should be placed under Dothideaceae, Dothideomycetes (Barr 2001, Hyde et al. 2013). Barr (1972) described the asexual state of Delphinella abietis as Dothiorella (Phoma bohemica Bubák and Kabát) which is characterized by thick-walled pycnidia with aspects similar to that of ascostromata and hyaline, fusoid, one-celled conidia. However, modern taxonomic and molecular data has shown the Dothiorella belongs in Botryosphaeriaceae (Liu et al. 2012). In the phylogeny (Fig 1) a putative strain of Delphinella strobiligena (CBS 735.71) clustered in Dothideaceae clade close to a putative strain of Sydowia polyspora (CBS 116.29). Considering the close relationship of the two strains it may be that one of these two strains is wrongly identified, or these two species should be in one genus. However, we named this clade as Delphinella which comprises D. strobiligena, Rhizosphaera pini and S. polyspora pending on more fresh collections of Delphinella and Sydowia species.

Type speciesDelphinella strobiligena (Desm.) Sacc. ex E. Müll. & Arx, in Müller & von Arx, Beitr. Kryptfl. Schweiz 11(no. 2): 25 (1962).