Letendraea cordylinicola Phookamsak, Ariyawansa & K.D. Hyde, sp. nov.,

Index Fungorum number: IF 550695; MycoBank number: MB 550695; Facesoffungi number: FoF 00047

Etymology – The specific epithet cordylinicola is based on the host genus from which the fungus was isolated.

Saprobic or parasitic on Cordyline sp. Sexual state: Ascomata 85–115 × 100–160 µm, scattered, immersed to semi-immersed, pale yellowish to reddish-brown on leaf lesions, globose to subglobose, pale yellowish to brown, central ostiole. Ostiole papillate and ostiolar canal filled with long periphyses. Peridium 9.5–20 µm wide, composed of 2–5 layers, thin-walled with equal thickness, large pseudoparenchymatous cells of textura angularis to textura prismatica, hyaline to pale yellowish. Hamathecium dense of 2–3(-4) µm wide, numerous, broadly cellular pseudoparaphyses, unbranched, anastomosing, indistinctly constricted at the septum, embedded in a mucilaginous matrix. Asci (51-) 55–60(-68) × (8-) 10–12 µm (= 59.1 × 10.4 μm, n = 20), 8-spored, bitunicate, fissitunicate, cylindric-clavate, short pedicellate, apically rounded with an indistinct ocular chamber, arising from the base of the ascoma. Ascospores 13–15 × 3–4 µm (= 13.9 × 3.4 μm, n = 30), overlapping, 1–3-seriate, didymosporous, fusiform, pale brown to brown, 1-septate, constricted at the septum, often enlarged near septum in the upper cell, smooth-walled, with distinct appendage at both ends, surrounded by a mucilaginous sheath. Asexual state: unknown.

Culture charactersColonies on potato dextrose agar (PDA) 73–82 mm diam. after 30 days at 25-30 C, white to pale orange at the margin, white to orange or grey at the centre; reverse white orangish to pale orange at the margin, with zonate brown to black in the centre, medium dense, irregular shape, flatten, separate from agar, dull with undulate edges, fluffy to velvety, margin with well-defined to slightly radiating, forming ascomata on colony after 8 weeks, producing light brown pigment tinted agar.

Material examined – THAILAND, Mae Jai District, Pa Faek village, on dead leaves of Cordyline sp., 5 September 2010, R. Phookamsak, RP0064 (MFLU 11-0184, holotype), ex-type living culture = MFLUCC 11-0148; Chiang Rai, Muang District, Pakha village, on living Cordyline sp., 15 August 2010, S. Wikee, RP0066 (MFLU 11-0186), living culture = MFLUCC  11-0150; Phan District, Muang Phan, on living leaves of Cordyline sp.7 November 2010, K. Niraphai, RP0097 (MFLU 11-0217), living culture = MFLUCC 11-0181.

Notes – Letendraea brasiliensis and the generic type L. eurotioides share similar characters such as having globose-subglobose ascomata, cylindric-clavate asci with 1-septate brown ascospores but differ in the nature of the pseudoparaphyses (cellular versus filliform), size of the asci (small versus large) and nature of the ascospores (with distinct appendage versus without distinct appendage). Letendraea cordylinicolashares similarities with L. brasiliensis in having immersed to semi-immersed ascomata with central ostiole filled with long periphyses, cylindric-clavate, short pedicellate asci bearing fusiform, 1-septate, brown ascospores and both cause leaf spots on their host. However, L. brasiliensis differs from L. cordylinicola in having large ascomata and indictinct appendages and sheath while L. cordylinicola has small ascomata, nice appendages and a sheath. Based on morphology coupled with DNA sequence data, we accept L. brasiliensis and L. cordylinicola in the genus Letendraeabecause of their similarities with other species in this genus.

Fig. 1 Letendraea cordylinicola (MFLU11-0184, holotype). a Ascomata on host surface. b Section through ascomata. c Section through peridium. d Pseudoparaphyses stained by cotton blue reagent. e Asci embedded in pseudoparaphyses. f-h Asci. i-k Ascospores with polar appendages that eventually expand into a sheath. l Ascospore stained in Indian ink with a prominent sheath. m Germination of ascospore. Scale bars: b = 50 µm, c = 20 µm, d-h, m = 10 µm, i-l = 5 µm.