Nitschkiaceae Nannf., Nova Acta R. Soc. Scient. upsal., Ser. 4 8(no. 2): 56 (1932)
MycoBank number: MB 81071; Index Fungorum number: IF 81071; Facesoffungi number: FoF 01120; 110 species.
Saprobic or parasitic on wood, leaves or lichens, in freshwater, marine and terrestrial habitats. Sexual morph: Ascomata perithecial, dark brown to black, gregarious, superficial to erumpent, sitting on or in a subiculum or subiculum absent, cupuliform, globose to subglobose, carbonaceous, coriaceous to membranaceous, rough, tuberculate, smooth or with short spines, with or ostiolar opening indistinct, the apex collapsing when dry or shallowly cupulate when moist. Subiculum thin or thick-walled, numerous or scanty, brown to dark brown, septate, branched hyphae, with spiny termination. Peridium thick, composed of three layers, outer layer comprising dark tissues, thin, carbonaceous; middle layer comprising dark brown to brown cells of textura angularis, thick, membranaceous, while the inner layer has hyaline cells of textura prismatica, thin, and membranaceous, munk pores present or absent. Paraphyes when present, filamentous, septate, simple or branched. Asci 4- to multi-spored, unitunicate, clavate to cylindrical, long or short pedicellate or sessile, ends blunt. Ascospores 2–3-seriate or irregularly arranged, hyaline or brown, fusiform, allantoid or subcylindrical, slightly curved, 0–4-aseptate, concolourous, smooth-walled, sheath and appendages present or absent, with or without guttules. Asexual morph: Undetermined (adapted from Maharachchikumbura et al. 2016b).
Type genus – Nitschkia G.H. Otth
Notes – Nitschkiaceae was introduced by Nannfeldt (1932) based on erumpent, black, rough ascomata and clavate asci with hyaline allantoid ascospores. Nannfeldt (1975) concluded that Nitschkiaceae comprised three separate groups, but that the differences between them were not sufficient to place them in separate families. He accepted five genera in this family and provided additional taxonomic details with descriptions. Mugambi & Huhndorf (2010) accepted 12 genera based on a multi-gene dataset and morphology (Lumbsch & Huhndorf 2010). The monotypic genera Neochaetosphaerella and Tortulomyces were introduced based on morpholy (Vasilyeva et al. 2012, 2013). In this study, 14 genera are included in this family. Most taxa assigned to the family need to be re-evaluated with sequence data analysis.