Lulworthiaceae Kohlm., Spatafora & Volkm.-Kohlm., Mycologia 92(3): 456 (2000)
MycoBank number: MB 82091; Index Fungorum number: IF 82091; Facesoffungi number: FoF 01295; 47 species.
Saprobic, on wood or growing on sea grasses, marsh plants and calcareous animal shells, endoskeletons and feathers, parasitic on algae and endophytic in sea grasses. Sexual morph: Ascomata pale to dark brown to black, occasionally purple, subglobose to cylindrical, immersed or superficial, coriaceous, ostiolate, papillate, sometimes with a long neck. Peridium mostly two layered, composed of an outer layer of cells of textura angularis and an inner layer of elongate cells. Paraphyses lacking; centrum initially filled with a hyaline pseudoparenchyma, dissolving at maturity. Asci 8-spored, unitunicate, cylindrical to fusiform, short pedicellate, deliquescent. Ascospores fasciculate, hyaline, filiform, septate or aseptate, conical or semi-globose chambers at the ends, with or without mucus. Asexual morph: hyphomycetous, hyphae pale brown, septate, branched. Conidiophores micronematous or semi-micronematous. Conidia septate or aseptate, some coiled (adapted from Maharachchikumbura et al. 2016b).
Type genus – Lulworthia G.K. Sutherl.
Notes – Lulworthia species have been recorded from various marine habitats and this is one of the largest genera among the marine fungi (Kohlmeyer et al. 2000). Sutherland (1916) introduced Lulworthia to accommodate the species L. fucicola, found on the brown seaweed, bladder wrack at Lulworth Cove on the Dorset coast, UK, but no type material was ever deposited for this taxon. Campbell et al. (2005) designated a neotype for the type species of Lulworthia (L. fucicola) from a collection from Chile. Lulworthia has been revisited over many years (Kohlmeyer 1972, Kohlmeyer & Kohlmeyer 1979, Koch & Jones 1984, Schaumann et al. 1986). Johnson & Sparrow (1961) listed 12 Lulworthia species, which were synonymized under L. medusa by Cavaliere & Johnson (1966). Three species were described by Kohlmeyer (1972) and Koch & Jones (1984) recognized six species. Eleven accepted species were included in Lulworthia with a number of other taxa by Kohlmeyer et al. (2000). However, their morphological differences are not sufficient to distinguish the species (Kohlmeyer et al. 2000). As a result of sequence analysis of LSU and SSU sequences a number of transfers have been recommended, such as Lulworthia crassa to Kohlmeyeriella, Lulworthia lignoarenaria to Lulwoidea and Lulworthia uniseptata to Lulwoana by Campbell et al. (2005). Jones et al. (2015) showed that only L. fucicola can be accepted in Lulworthia sensu stricto, while 11 species are referred to Lulworthia sensu lato until further taxa are collected and sequenced. Abdel-Wahab et al. (2017) introduced a novel genus Sammeyersia to accommodate L. grandispora based on molecular data. Azevedo et al. (2017) introduced a novel species Lulworthia atlantica to this genus in the Lulworthia sensu stricto clade.
The genera Lulworthia and Lindra were previously placed in Halosphaeriales (Spatafora et al. 1998). Subsequently, phylogenetic analysis of several species of Lulworthia and Lindra with filamentous ascospores led to the inclusion of their parent genera to a new family Lulworthiaceae in a new order Lulworthiales (Kohlmeyer et al. 2000). Jones et al. (2008) showed that the asexual genera Cumulospora and Orbimyces grouped in Lulworthiaceae (Lulworthiales) with statistical support. Subsequently, in a molecular analysis of SSU and LSU sequence data, Abdel-Wahab et al. (2010) demonstrated that the genera Cumulospora, and Cirrenalia were polyphyletic and introduced the new genera Halazoon, Hydea, Matsusporium and Moheirospora for species previously referred to Cirrenalia, and Moromyces to accommodate Cumulospora varia. They also introduced the genera Moleospora and Glomerulispora in Lulworthiaceae. Currently this family comprises the genera, Cumulospora, Halazoon, Haloguignardia, Hydea, Kohlmeyeriella, Lindra, Lulwoana, Lulwoidea, Lulworthia, Matsusporium, Moleospora, Moromyces, Orbimyces, Rostrupiella, and Sammeyersia (Jones et al. 2015, Maharachchikumbura et al. 2016b, Abdel- Wahab et al. 2017, Wijayawardene et al. 2017a, 2018).