A molecular phylogenetic assessment of Massarina ingoldiana sensu lato.

  • Hirayama K
  • Tanaka K
  • Raja H
 et al. 
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Massarina ingoldiana occurs worldwide on a variety of dead plant substrates in aquatic habitats. This species has been accommodated in Massarina or Lophiostoma in Pleosporales, Dothideomycetes, but the validity of either of these taxonomic placements has not been confirmed with molecular data. In addition morphological variations occur among different populations of this species causing problems in identification. To evaluate the generic placement and monophyly of M. ingoldiana and the taxonomic usefulness of variable morphological features, phylogenetic analyses based on SSU and LSU sequences of ribosomal DNA were conducted for 10 putative strains of this species and its relatives. Phylogenies revealed that M. ingoldiana sensu lato is polyphyletic and comprises two distinct lineages within Pleosporales. Neither lineage was congeneric with either Massarina or Lophiostoma. Based on molecular data and a reevaluation of morphology, two new genera, Lindgomyces and Tingoldiago, are established for the two lineages of M. ingoldiana sensu lato. Lindgomyces includes four species, L. ingoldianus comb. nov. (= M. ingoldiana sensu stricto), L. rotundatus sp. nov. (= M. ingoldiana sensu lato), L. cinctosporae sp. nov. and L. breviappendiculatus comb. nov. (= Lophiostoma breviappendiculatum). A new aquatic family, Lindgomycetaceae, is proposed for Lindgomyces and its sister taxon, Massariosphaeria typhicola. Isolates of a fungus from submerged Phragmites, with ascospores similar to those of M. ingoldiana, occurred in an additional single species lineage distant from that of M. ingoldiana (Lindgomyces). This fungus is described as Tingoldiago graminicola gen. & sp. nov. The discovery that Tingoldiago, which occurs in a lineage distantly related to Lindgomyces but has morphologically similar ascospores and ascospore sheaths, suggests that the elaborate ascospore sheath in M. ingoldiana has arisen in two separate lineages as a result of convergent evolution in response to the aquatic environment. The large gelatinous sheath previously was considered one of the most distinctive and stable features for species identification of M. ingoldiana.

Author-supplied keywords

  • ascomycetes
  • convergence
  • evolution
  • freshwater
  • pleosporales
  • taxonomy

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  • Kazuyuki Hirayama

  • Kazuaki Tanaka

  • Huzefa a Raja

  • Andrew N Miller

  • Carol a Shearer

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