Diabolocovidia claustri Crous, in Crous et al., Persoonia 44: 331 (2020)

Index Fungorum number: IF 835402; MycoBank number: MB 835402; Facesoffungi number: FoF 15030;

Etymology – Name refers to the closure or lockdown experienced in many countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mycelium consisting of branched, septate, hyaline to pale brown, smooth to finely roughened, 2–3 µm diam hyphae. Conidiophores solitary, erect, flexuous, mostly reduced to a terminal conidiogenous cell. Conidiogenous cells pale brown, smooth, subcylindrical to slightly clavate, 8–10 × 3–4 µm, proliferating via single apical blastic locus, and remaining attached to acro- petal chain of conidia that remain attached to one another via narrow isthmus. Conidia brown, thin-walled, smooth, guttulate, granular, ellipsoid to obovoid, (7–)8–9(–11) × (4 –)5–6(–7) µm; conidia remaining attached in chains of 8–12 propagules, dis- articulating at maturity into single propagules or shorter chains.

Culture characteristics — Colonies flat, spreading, with sparse to moderate aerial mycelium and a feathery, lobate margin, reaching 30 mm diam after 2 weeks at 25 °C. On the MEA, surface and reverse cinnamon. On the PDA, surface and reverse hazel to brown vinaceous. On the OA, surface hazel.

Typus – USA, Florida, Gainesville, on leaves of Serenoa repens (Arecaceae), 28 Feb. 2018, M.J. Wingfield, HPC 2792 (holotype CBS H-24353, culture ex-type CPC 37593 = CBS 146630.

GenBank accession numbers – ITS: MT373367, LSU: MT373350.

Notes Diabolocovidia is reminiscent of genera such as Ampullifera (but conidiophores different and hyphopodia present) and Junctospora (but conidiophores sparingly branched and subhyaline; Seifert et al. 2011). Phylogenetically, it is allied to Vamsapriya, which is characterized by having brown, synnematous conidiophores, mono- to polytretic conidiogenous cells, and dark brown, septate conidia arranged in acropetal chains (Dai et al. 2014). Based on a the megablast search of NCBIs GenBank nucleotide database, the closest hits using the ITS sequence had the highest similarity to Vamsapriya khunkonensis (voucher MFLU 13-0367, GenBank NR_154499.1; Identities = 427/464 (92%), 5 gaps (1%), Didymobotryum rigidum (strain JCM 8837, GenBank LC228650.1; Identities = 517/561 (92%), 7 gaps (1%), and Vamsapriya bambusicola (voucher MFLU 13-0368, GenBank NR_154500.1; Identities = 533/605 (88%), 37 gaps (6%) Closest hits using the LSU sequence are Vamsapriya bambusicola (strain MFLUCC 11-0477, GenBank NG_067527.1; Identities = 849/864 (98%), no gaps), Fasciatispora petrakii (strain HKUCC 207, GenBank AY083828.1; Identities = 832/848 (98%), 1 gap (0 %)), and Vamsapriya indica (strain MFLUCC 12-0544, GenBank KM462840.1; Identities = 815/831 (98 %), no gaps).