Falcocladiaceae Somrith., E.B.G. Jones & K.L. Pang, Cryptog. Mycol. 35(2): 134 (2014)
Index Fungorum number: IF808179; Facesoffungi number: FoF01288; 5 species.
Saprobic on leaf litter, including leaves of Eucalyptus grandis and E. camaldulensis in tropical, terrestrial habitats. Sexual morph: Undetermined. Asexual morph: Hyphomycetous. Conidiomata hyaline, sporodochial or synnematal or penicillate, intermixed with setae, arising from a stroma or microsclerotia or prostrate mycelium Setae cylindrical, thick and smoothwalled, hyaline, non-septate and terminating in variedly-shaped vesicles. Conidiophores subcylindical, hyaline, septate, branched, forming up to three series of branches per conidioma (primary, secondary and tertiary). Conidiogenous cells ampulliform, phialidic, arranged in 2–6 whorls, with elongate necks, with minute collarettes. Conidia trans- (1)-septate, hyaline, smoothwalled, falcate, guttulate, with short apical and basal appendages (adapted from Jones et al. 2014, Maharachchikumbura et al. 2016b).
Type genus – Falcocladium S.F. Silveira
Notes – Crous et al. (2007a) used the BLASTn tool to compare ITS and LSU gene regions with reference sequences, suggesting the placement of Falcocladium in Hypocreales and further considered the genus to be polyphyletic. Jones et al. (2014) introduced the monotypic family Falcocladiaceae which formed a monophyletic clade in Hypocreomycetidae, based on SSU and LSU nuclear genes to accommodate members of Falcocladium. They suggested further taxon sampling to determine its ordinal status. Based on an LSU and SSU combined gene phylogenetic study, Falcocladiaceae was placed in Falcocladiales (Maharachchikumbura et al. 2015). In a phylogenetic analysis by Réblová et al. (2016b), Falcocladiales showed close affinity to Coronophorales and Melanosporales. Several phylogenetic studies showed similar results (Maharachchikumbura et al. 2016b; Réblová et al. 2016b). Currently, the order includes one hyphomycetous genus Falcocladium introduced by Crous et al. (1994a). Falcocladium species can be distinguished based on morphology of vesicular apices of setae which ranges from ellipsoidal, sphaeropedunculate to turbinate and conidial measurements (Somrithipol et al. 2007). No sexual morph has been recorded for the family.
Ecological and economic significance of Falcocladiaceae
Species in Falcocladium are saprobes on leaves of woody plants. Falcocladium africanum occurs on leaves of Eucalyptus brassiana and E. tereticornis in Ghana and Sierra Leone (Crous et al. 2018c), F. thailandicum occurs on leaves of E. camaldulensis in Thailand (Crous et al. 2007a), F. turbinatum occurs on dead leaves of evergreen trees in Thailand (Somrithipol et al. 2007), F. spltaeropeduncuiatuln occurs on leaves of E. pellita × brassiana in Brazil (Crous et al. 1997), F. multivesiculatum occurs on leaf litter of E. grandis in Brazil (Crous et al. 1994a). This group plays an important role in degrading plant leaves.