Saccharataceae Slippers, Boissin & Crous, Studies in Mycology 76: 41 (2013).

MycoBank number: MB 805794; Index Fungorum number: IF 805794; Facesoffungi number: FoF 02296, 22 species.

Saprobic, endophytic, or pathogenic on plants. Sexual morph: Ascostromata pseudothecial, uniloculate, solitary or in clusters, with multi-layered, dark brown walls, infrequently embedded in stromatic tissue, with upper ascomatal layer darkened and thickened, developing under a very small epidermal clypeus, ascomatal wall continuous with clypeus. Asci 8-spored, bitunicate, fissitunicate, with a thick endotunica, pedicellate or sessile, cylindrical, with a well-developed ocular chamber. Hamathecium comprising 3–5 µm wide, filiform, septate, hypha-like, branched or not, abundant, intermixed with asci, cellular pseudoparaphyses. Ascospores 2–3-seriate, ellipsoidal, hyaline to pigmented, pale golden brown, granular, septate or not, without mucoid appendages or sheath. Asexual morph: Coelomycetous. Conidiomata unilocular pycnidial, infrequently embedded in stromatic tissue with thickened, darkened upper layer. Conidiophores sparingly branched, hyaline, subcylindrical, or reduced to conidiogenous cells. Conidiogenous cells hyaline, smooth, phialidic, proliferating via periclinal thickening or percurrent proliferation, with or without collarettes. Conidia fusoid, hyaline, aseptate, thin-walled, granular. Synasexual morph formed in separate conidiomata, or in same conidiomata with asexual morph. Synasexual morph: Conidia ellipsoid or oval, pigmented, aseptate, thick-walled, finely verruculose. Spermatogonia similar to conidiomata in anatomy. Spermatogenous cells ampulliform to lageniform or subcylindrical, hyaline smooth, phialidic. Spermatia developing in conidiomata or spermatogonia, subcylindrical or dumbbell-shaped, with rounded ends, hyaline, smooth, granular.

Type: Saccharata Denman & Crous.

Notes: The narrow, aseptate, filiform pseudoparaphyses in Saccharataceae are unique in Botryosphaeriales and the pale golden brown ascospores are also distinctive. Slippers et al. (2013) accommodated this family in Botryosphaeriales. Saccharataceae grouped separately from all other families that were basal in the phylogenetic tree, suggesting a long, separate evolutionary history. Saccharataceae has previously been known only from southern Africa, and is most diverse on the Proteaceae. Recent research has shown, however, that it has also been introduced as endophytes in other countries where South African Proteaceae are now being cultivated (Marincowitz et al. 2008).